Asian Rivals Move Closer

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South Korea and Japan are now closer to each other than ever due to rising threats from China.

Japan and South Korea are both allied states but their own relations have been terrible. This is primarily due to Japan’s colonial legacy in South Korea. The Wall Street Journal reports:

A new trilateral alliance linking the U.S., South Korea and Japan will enhance cooperation among the nations in key areas, including ballistic-missile defenses, to counter rising threats from North Korea and China.

The leaders of the U.S. Japan and South Korea are meeting Friday at Camp David, where they are expected to announce details of the agreement, which will also cover intelligence sharing, supply chains and cybersecurity.

China’s threat has been enough to move two countries that hate each other into closer cooperation. Financial Times reports:

The US has mutual defence treaties with Japan and South Korea. But it has been frustrated over the years at how longstanding tensions between Tokyo and Seoul — which are not allies — have made serious trilateral security co-operation almost impossible.

US ambassador to Tokyo Rahm Emanuel said the summit highlighted how the Biden administration viewed alliances as “the coin of the realm”. He said it would send a strong message to China, which was trying to intimidate other countries across the Indo-Pacific region.

If South Korea and Japan manage to strike an alliance, this means that each country’s military could be used to complement the other. This would make our own alliance stronger and not as centrally dependent upon us.

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