pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #58 – Japan-ROK Relations: Antagonism over Alignment?

APEC in Vladivostok last week provided an opportunity for Japanese and Korean leaders Noda Yoshihiko and Lee Myung-bak to cool recently white-hot bilateral relations. Noda, looking stone-faced, approached Lee who then engaged in a five-minute pull-aside with the prime minister. Foreign Ministers Gemba Koichiro and Kim Sung-hwan met the day prior and the collective message from their handlers was that both leaders would make an effort to "dispassionately" deal with tensions in relations at an early date.