Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has the potential to either repair or further impair Tokyo’s current strained bilateral relations with Seoul. In recent months, both countries have endeavored to repair the relationship by addressing and compartmentalizing historic issues. But real progress on the nascent rapprochement initiative remains dependent on Abe’s anniversary statement and President Park Geun-hye’s response.
Strained relations between two critically important allies is of grave concern to Washington since it hinders U.S. security interests in Asia and constrains effective integrated responses to the North Korean military threat. Questions remain over what role the U.S. can play in helping Japan and the Republic of Korea achieve reconciliation.
More About the Speakers
Michael J. Green
Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Associate Professor, Georgetown University,
and former Senior Director for Asia, National Security Council
Evans J.R. Revere
Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution,
and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia
Sheila A. Smith
Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia