pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 07 – No. 13

A decade ago, security analysts postulated the birth of a “virtual alliance” between the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Today, those discussions are viewed with considerable nostalgia as changes in Japan and the Republic of Korea, combined with force modernization in the United States subject the two U.S. alliances to new, and sometimes, unprecedented strains. Meanwhile, a younger generation of politicians in both Seoul and Tokyo has exacerbated longstanding tensions in the ROK-Japan relationship. It is ironic that as the mutual exposure has never been higher –credit visa-less travel, Kimpo-Haneda shuttles, and media products that bring the other country (literally) into the living room – frictions appear to be on the rise as well.