Japan-ROK Relations: Prospects and Challenges
US alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have served as the anchors of US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, in face of aggravating unpredictability in North Korea and uncertainty of China's strategic intentions, the US needs close policy coordination among Washington, Tokyo and Seoul. However, given the pre-1945 history, Japan-ROK relations, while critical, remains one of the most complicated diplomatic challenges. Today, Japan and the ROK find their relations to be one of the coolest since its diplomatic normalization in 1965, with no summit meeting between their leaders, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Keun-Hye, yet to take place.
As President's Obama's visit to Japan and the ROK draws close, there is a heightened hope that the presidential visit will enable Japan and the ROK to once again move forward with a future-oriented agenda based on shared interests in East Asia and beyond. Join us for the discussion of the prospects and challenges in Japan-ROK relations, and whether the United States can facilitate rapprochement between its critical allies in Asia.