SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Relations between South Korea and Japan continue to sour as a pair of diplomatic disputes creates a renewed strain on bilateral ties between Seoul and Tokyo.
However, analysts tell VOA that the crisis facing the East Asian nations stems from long-standing, unresolved issues that could ultimately affect how the countries interact on regional security issues.
Keeho Yang, a professor at the Department of Japanese studies at Sungkonghoe University, traces the current downward trend in bilateral ties to 2012, when then-President Lee Myung-bak visited Dok-do, a small set of islets also claimed by Japan and referred to as Takeshima.
“There have been no significant changes in the two countries’ relationship,” since then, he said. “It’s bad.”
Currently, both governments are embroiled in a tit-for-tat exchange over whether a South Korean naval vessel targeted a Japanese Self Defense Force fighter with fire-control radar last month and Seoul looking to seize the assets of Japanese companies following a recent court decision that requiring the firms to compensate forced laborers during World War II.
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