Munk School Presents How ‘North Korea Factors’ Shaping Japan-South Korea Relations


How Have the ‘North Korea Factors’ Shaped Japan-South Korea Relations?

The Centre for the Study of Global Japan, Asian Institute, and the Centre for the Study of Korea from the Munk School of Global Affairs present a talk from Dr. Seung Hyok Lee, Professor at the Department of Political Science at University of Toronto, and Associate Professor of Centre for the Study of Global Japan at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

The event will be held at 1 Devonshire Place, North House Room 208N on Friday, January 19, 2018 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

South Koreans and Japanese citizens have become influential in shaping their respective countries’ bilateral relations. This societal-level sway on government interactions is especially evident when a publicized shared issue linked to national security prompts the mainstream citizenry’s emotional involvement. This presentation will focus on Japan-South Korea bilateral relations during the last decade to illustrate this.

In the midst of the fast-changing regional security environment of the past ten years, the two societies have begun to re-evaluate and re-examine their respective Cold War period national security identities.

Interestingly, both countries’ identity-shifts were first fuelled by the changing domestic public attitude toward North Korea. The normative transformations sparked by the ‘North Korea factors’ has also led to a ‘mutual security anxiety’ between Japanese and South Koreans, as they learn to embrace a sense of uncertainty about the other side’s possible future trajectory. This societal-level mutual distrust continues to provide a powerful ideational limit to government-level bilateral interactions.

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