On the severely deteriorated relations between Japan and South Korea

To show genuine remorse over colonial rule is the key for resolution of good relations

Shii Kazuo
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan

August 26, 2019


We are deeply concerned about the severely deteriorated diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea.

The trigger of the sharp deterioration was in that the Abe administration broke a political “taboo” by violating the principle of separation of politics from economy by deleting South Korea from the “white list” of favored trade nations to implement tighter export controls as a means for “resolving” the political difference over the “wartime recruited laborers” issue while the Abe administration is neglecting its own responsibility to take steps to restore the honor and dignity of the victims.

Moreover, the Abe administration offered a deceptive explanation claiming that the reason for the delisting was the result of an export control policy review focusing on national security.

It is shameful that a lack of diplomatic respect was repeatedly demonstrated by Japan when Foreign Minister Kono called the ambassador of South Korea to his office and verbally abused him before the press.

Regarding the deterioration of relations, Prime Minister Abe keeps disregarding the position of “remorse over colonial rule” which was demonstrated in the 1995 Murayama Statement as well as the 1998 Japan-South Korea Partnership Declaration. The 2015 Abe Statement beautified the Russo-Japanese War under which the colonialization of the Korean Peninsula was realized.

We have to emphasize that to show genuine remorse over the past colonial rule is the key for the resolution of the “comfort women” issue and the “wartime forced laborers” issue.

The Abe government’s attempt to maintain power by justifying and glorifying the past wars of aggression, insulting other countries, and prompting sentiments of xenophobia are totally unacceptable. It is quite a harmful position when we advance peacebuilding in Northeast Asia. We strongly demand that this political stance must be fundamentally changed.

As for the abrogation of the General Security of Military Information Agreement, our party has always criticized this agreement between Japan and the U.S and the successive one between Japan and South Korea.

In 2007, the GSOMIA between Japan and the U.S., which was pushed by the U.S government, accelerates the military integration of both countries in terms of sharing military information and enables Japan to wage war with the U.S. Under the name of “protection of military information”, this agreement has violated the public right to know and led to the forcible enactment of the state secrecy law in 2013.

We have also expressed opposition to the GSOMIA between Japan and South Korea signed in 2016, enabling both countries to be directly involved in upgrading the U.S-led “missile defense” system to increase military pressures on China and North Korea.

Such provocative military measures invite further military countermeasures. We have proposed that it is important to focus on a peaceful resolution through dialogue. If the GSOMIA is scrapped, it will not endanger peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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