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PacNet #47 – Ambitious Periphery Can Strengthen the Core

“One ‘aw, shucks’ wipes out a thousand ‘attaboys.’” This old saw epitomizes relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Despite incremental progress in the bilateral relationship, insensitive remarks by politicians, media, analysts, and some in civil society from both countries have fuelled an action-reaction cycle of obnoxious nationalism. Under these circumstances, progress toward meaningful cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo seems distant.