Okada acknowledges past wrongs in Seoul

The Hatoyama government's campaign to revitalize Japan's bilateral relationships in Asia continues, with Foreign Okada Katsuya's visiting South Korea for the first time as foreign minister for meetings with President Lee and other senior officials.While Americans are focused on celebrating what is being called the fiftieth anniversary of the US-Japan alliance this year, a more …

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Who is missing from this group?

In Abe's Magical Democracy tour, there was lots of talk about cooperation between Japan, India, the US, and Australia — glorious Pacific-spanning cooperation among democracies.But what about South Korea, which last time I checked was a vibrant democracy whose people struggled to achieve it after decades of authoritarian rule?It seems that any organization of democracies …

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Japan’s friends, kept at arm’s length

The Japan Times today has two op-eds that illustrate Japan's troublesome ties with the US, its ally, and South Korea, its wealthy, democratic neighbor and former colony.The first, by journalist Hanai Kiroku, calls for a US-Japan economic partnership agreement (EPA), to follow on the heels of the Japan-Australia EPA currently under negotiation. Given the scale …

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Seoul speaks up — how about Washington?

The Jiji wire service carried two articles today that report on South Korean officials criticizing Japan for its focus on the abductions issue in the multilateral de-nuclearization talks.First, Yu Myong-hwan, South Korea's newly appointed ambassador to Japan, said at a press conference with Japanese journalists in Seoul that the resolving the nuclear issue must take …

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