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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 18 - 24  > Former high SDF officer: Dialogue is important to ease tensions between Japan and South Korea
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2019 September 18 - 24 [POLITICS]

Former high SDF officer: Dialogue is important to ease tensions between Japan and South Korea

September 24, 2019

A former high ranking officer of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces recently said that dialogue is important to soothe tensions between Japan and South Korea.

This remark was made by former Air SDF Lieutenant General Onoda Osamu, who headed the ASDF Air Training Command, in response to the South Korean government’s decision to end the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan at a discussion meeting held on September 11 in Tokyo by the non-profit organization “Genron NPO”.

Onoda pointed out that the sour bilateral relations are rooted in the attitude of the Abe government which refuses to show remorse over Japan’s colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula. He added that the situation became worse with the issues of wartime Korean forced laborers in Japan and trade management, and now adversely affects the security cooperation between the two countries. Onoda argued that if the situation remains unchanged, it will turn into an even riskier one.

The ex-SDF general said that the SDF and the South Korean military still maintain security cooperation and mutual trust, but if the current tension continues, it can lead to a much more dangerous situation, suggesting the possibility of a military confrontation between Japan and South Korea.

Noting that the issues of wartime Japanese military “comfort women” and former Korean forced laborers severely hamper private-level exchanges, Onoda said, “I don’t think only the South Korea side is to be blamed. The Japanese government made missteps. In order to ease the tension between the two countries, we need to change our attitude and encourage South Korea to do the same through dialogue.”

Past related article:
> End of Japan-ROK GSOMIA represents worsening in bilateral relations [August 23, 2019]
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