Japan and Korea

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INTRODUCTION : a brief overview of the current situation regarding the security issue in the Pacific region

Since the end of the Second World War, the shape of the relations between the nations in the Pacific region has stayed more or less the same way until the present. However, there has been one big changed that affected the situation in the Pacific region and it was the outbreak of the Korean war and the creation of a Communist North Korea. This brought a huge inevitable change in relations between countries in the region. The stability that was brought about with the end of the Second World War disappeared and a new type of tension appeared. This especially affected the relations between the Korea and Japan to a great extent. In the past few years, the two countries have been seeking cooperation for the common aim of keeping the security in the Pacific region but things did not always work out fine due to many reasons including the historic background of two countries. In this paper, the historical background, the chronology of main events, the development of the relations and the current situation regarding the security and cultural issues, between Korea and Japan will be examined and analysed, which will be followed by a conclusion.


The relations between and Korea and Japan has a long history. The first exchange of goods and information between the two goes back to the era of Three Countries and since then the relations between the two developed both in good and bad ways until now.
There has always been lack of balance of power between the two nations. Back in thousands of years ago, Korea was the one that had more power and helped Japan develop her culture and since the late Chosun era, Japan has been the more powerful one. Conflicts between Korea and Japan continued and the ill feelings towards each other reached the top when Japan colonized Korea. As a result, the history of the Korea-Japan relations is full of conflicts and ill feelings towards each other and even during the time of temporary peace for the 2002 World Cup, small diplomatic conflicts continue.

Diplomatic relations
(a) December 18, 1965: Normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and the Republic of Korea
(b) Number of Japanese in the Republic of Korea: 15,217 persons (as of October 1 1999; 14,648 long-term residents, 569 permanent residents)

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