Unite in front of a common enemy! North and South Korea vs Japan. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15048583
Albert Einstein once said: «There are two endless things: the universe and human stupidity». The quote is very accurate and, unfortunately, can even be applied to politics. For endless things, we would like to attribute the territorial claims of Japan to all of its neighboring territories.

The Land of the Rising Sun disputes the affiliation of the Russian Kuril Islands, the Chinese Diaoyu (or Senkaku) and Spratly archipelagos, and even the South Korean Liancourt Rocks (or Dokdo). Tokyo protests do not give any effect, and amid disputes, diplomatic relations with the above countries are spoiled.

The unfounded nature of the claims can be seen in the territorial dispute over the ownership of the Dokdo Islands. This group of islands is located at approximately equal distance from the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese island of Honshu. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 Japan captured the Dokdo and used it for military purposes. After the World War II, these islands began to belong to South Korea. In preparation for the San Francisco Conference with Japan, an «Agreement on the Location of Former Japanese Territories» was signed with maps attached. The Dokdo islands were designated as Korean territory there. Japan, despite the fact of signing the act of surrender, calls it «illegal occupation» and considers the islands to be its land. Tokyo invites Seoul to submit the issue of the islands to the International Court of Justice, while South Korea believes that there is no dispute over the Dokdo Islands, since they have long been a Korean territory historically, geographically and legally.

Due to disputes, new problems arise. The antagonism between South Korea and Japan is a serious headache for the United States. Both states consider Washington their main ally, so the U.S. is trying to maintain neutrality.

Territorial claims also lead to indignation of citizens of disputing states. According to a survey, in the event of a hypothetical conflict between the DPRK and Japan, 45.5 percent of South Koreans said they would support the northerners. Is Japan conducting the right policy if even states with a long conflict history are ready to unite against a common, albeit hypothetical enemy?
#15048589
The Dokdo islands were designated as Korean territory there. Japan, despite the fact of signing the act of surrender, calls it «illegal occupation» and considers the islands to be its land. Tokyo invites Seoul to submit the issue of the islands to the International Court of Justice, while South Korea believes that there is no dispute over the Dokdo Islands, since they have long been a Korean territory historically, geographically and legally.

Due to disputes, new problems arise. The antagonism between South Korea and Japan is a serious headache for the United States. Both states consider Washington their main ally, so the U.S. is trying to maintain neutrality.


Dokdo is a minor issue compared to comfort women and wartime slavery date back to the colonial era. Basically, Koreans see the Japanese as their former colonial overloads just as how the Indians feel about the British or African Americans anger white Americans with their slavery reparation claims. The majority of South Koreans will not hesitate to support North Korea, if North Korea and Japan went to war.

If North Korea and Japan went to war, more South Koreans would back their immediate neighbor, a new poll by a state-sponsored think tank in Seoul showed.

The survey, conducted by research fellow Lee Sang Sin, was presented Wednesday as part of the Korea Institute for National Unification's 11th annual Peace Forum. Lee set out to determine the views of South Koreans at a critical juncture in Northeast Asia's power dynamics, and found they would more readily support longtime rival North Korea than fellow U.S. ally Japan should a conflict break out between the two.

"Under a rather extreme hypothetical situation in which war may break out between North Korea and Japan, 45.5 percent would choose to help North Korea, and 15.1 percent Japan," the survey, which was obtained by Newsweek, showed. "39.4 percent respond that they have no idea."

Lee also found that responses did not vary much by political party, with the right-wing Liberty Korea Party only slightly more decided on assisting either Japan or North Korea. Lee told Newsweek that the results were "not so surprising" for those following the trend in inter-Korean relations.


The relationship between the two countries deteriorated further when the South Korean supreme court ordered the liquidation of Japanese assets in Korea to compensate for wartime slavery victims in violation of the bilateral treaty signed in 1965, which stipulated that South Korea would not make further demands for monetary compensation after the one-off payments. Currently they are technically at war with each other and Japan stopped exporting certain strategic materials to Korea on national security grounds. The Korean IT industry will go bust, if the export controls continue for another month.

Japan provided South Korea with $300 million grant in economic aid and $200 million in loans together with $300 million in loans for private trust, a total of $800 million as "economic cooperation".[5] The official policy of Japanese governments has been that, in regard to war-time property issues and individual claims for compensation, such issues were settled completely and finally by this agreement.

The 1965 Treaty Article II:

1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.
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