For Japan-South Korea Relations, What Comes After ‘All-Time Low’?

Protesters hold a rally to mark the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule by a statue symbolizing a wartime “comfort woman” near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2021 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).
Protesters hold a rally to mark the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule by a statue symbolizing a wartime “comfort woman” near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2021 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).
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For East Asia analysts, writing about the long-tortured relationship between Japan and South Korea presents a certain descriptive challenge. How often can stock phrases like “all-time low” or “worst-ever” be re-used? Is it possible to be “at a nadir” more than once? And how, given the protracted downward spiral in ties between the two U.S. allies over the past three years, are we to know when things have truly “hit rock bottom”? If a recent South Korean court ruling is any indication, we may be about to find out. Last week, lawyers representing a group of South Koreans who say […]

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