Japan and South Korea: Possible meeting between Suga and Moon in Tokyo

Japan and South Korea: Possible meeting between Suga and Moon in Tokyo

Noriko Watanabe and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

Reports of a possible meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and President Moon Jae-in have hit a diplomatic snag. This concerns a rude comment by Hirohisa Soma, the Deputy Ambassador of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea.

Relations, since Moon took office in South Korea, have been rocky between both nations. Hence, Suga, taking a similar stance to the former leader Shinzo Abe, believes that little concrete will materialize between Japan and South Korea in the short term.

Reuters reports, “Plans to hold the first in-person summit between the leaders of Japan and South Korea have hit a snag over a disparaging comment by a Japanese diplomat about the South Korean president, the latest flare-up between the fractious neighbors.”

The rumor mill suggested that a meeting would take place between the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Friday. This coincides with the start of the Tokyo Olympics. However, the tense nature of relations between Moon and the administration of Suga remains visible.

It might be that a face-saving meeting takes place between Suga and Moon. If so, even if the substance is low, then at least a small step forward.

Historical issues and a territorial dispute remain between Japan and South Korea. At the same time, both nations are prone to use petty nationalism against each other when it suits. Therefore, even if a small step is taken, the road ahead remains distrustful under the prevailing conditions.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japans-suga-skoreas-moon-hold-first-summit-meeting-friday-yomiuri-2021-07-18/

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