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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 15:46 02/25/2008
News Review #434: February 25, 2008

Japan's Prime Minister Arrives in Seoul for Inauguration of South Korean President

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japan's Prime Minister Arrives in Seoul for Inauguration of South Korean President
International Herald Tribune (2/24/2008)


As it is reported in the article linked above, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda arrived in Seoul on February 24 to attend the inauguration of Lee Myung-bak as South Korea's president and to have a summit meeting with him. Mr. Fukuda reportedly said that "with the new president, I am hoping to open a new era for Japan and South Korea," where reciprocal visits by top leaders would take place more frequently than before. In fact, Lee had already stated that he would be willing to establish a future-oriented relationship with Japan and not to insist on further apologies from Japanese leaders for the so-called "history" problem.

It is needless to say, however, that North Korea remains to be the biggest issue which might likely divide Japan and South Korea in relation to the two superpowers, namely, the U.S. and China, although the new president could be a little more understanding toward Japan's stance on this issue than the previous president. Actually, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is arriving in Seoul for the inauguration ceremony, might well directly contact North Korea to discuss the nuclear issue with them on this occasion, presumably supported by South Korea in various ways, before she visits Japan on her way back home.

Thus, Prime Minister Fukuda should take a wider viewpoint and a more strategic approach toward Japan's relationship with the U.S., China and Korea, rather than just a bilateral relationship with South Korea, in order to open a new era for anything in this region.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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