October 6, 2020 — Updates on Japan-South Korea Relations

Coverage over the recent unveiling of a statue commemorating ‘comfort women’ in Berlin:

DW Akademie: “A Korean citizens’ group is aiming to raise awareness of women forced to work in military brothels with a new memorial. But Japan has said the controversial statue is out of context and only serves to damage relations.”

The Mainichi: “A girl statue symbolizing the Korean women who were forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels was unveiled in Berlin on Monday.”

Chosun Ilbo: “A statue commemorating the Korean women who were sexually enslaved by Japan during World War II has been set up in a public square in Berlin.”

Pressures mount over wartime forced labor issue:

Nikkei Asia: “A ‘time bomb’ is quietly ticking between Japan and South Korea against the backdrop of the former’s first change in government in nearly eight years and friction between the U.S. and China.”

Kyodo News: “Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not visit South Korea without a guarantee that assets seized from a Japanese company following a South Korean court ruling on compensation for wartime labor will not be liquidated, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday.”

Some point to this past summer as particularly quiet in Japan-South Korea relations:

Nippon.com: “August is usually a torrid time for Japan-South Korea relations, but in 2020 it passed peacefully. In part, this was due to the pandemic, but it also reflected declining interest among the countries’ citizens.”