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Relationship Issues Essay

1296 words - 5 pages

Different arguments and disagreements between countries can be found throughout our history on this Earth. A relationship that is lesser known is the relationship between Japan and South Korea. Japan and South Korea are two countries that are trapped by their past. Although the two countries are slightly similar when it comes to manners,but they are also very different in cultures and beliefs. Different cultures and beliefs are not the only reason that is keeping them apart though. Japan and South Korea have a long history. A history of colonial rule and lack of trust in Japan, South Korea chooses not to ally itself with Japan. Although the two countries have been working on stabilizing their relationship, they still need to overcome some issues. Japan and South Korea's unstable relationship could be improved by sharing their cultures more or through a military alliance.
Japan and South Korea's relationship is known as a "quasialliance" (Cooney 9). The two countries are both allies with the United States, but Japan and South Korea still remain unallied to each other. Japan and South Korea still maintain in an unstable relationship. Although the two countries do not physically fight, they do not associate with each other much. South Korea holds little trust in Japan and its people because of their past relationship. The relationship between the two countries started with Japan's colonial rule over South Korea that lasted for thirty-five years and ended in the year 1945. Korean citizens protest and claim that Japan and its citizens do not acknowledge how cruel the colonial rule was . Even Japanese school books do not go into detail about the colonial rule. South Korea and its citizens claim that the text does not justify the treatment that Korea went through (Cooney 6). Some South Korean tourist guides purposely take Japanese tourist to sites that show the destruction of Korea. Most of the tourist express remorse and are apologetic toward Koreans (Cooney 6). During this period, Japan attempted to eliminate Korean culture. They destroyed South Korean buildings and built new Japanese buildings in front of important Korean government buildings. Japan showed an overall disrespect for Korea and their culture.
Although the two countries have a poor past relationship, Japan has attempted to mend the relationship. On the 100th anniversary of Japan's annexation of Korea, Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, apologized and showed remorse over the colonial rule (Harlan 1). Some South Korean citizens accepted this apology as sincere while others did not trust him. Japan also managed to calm the stormy relationship South Korea when Japanese Emperor Akihito announced his Korean ancestry to the public (Cooney 10). This announcement managed to ease the tension between Japan and Korea for a short time. South Korea has taken strides to improve their awkward relations with Japan as well. South Korea sent observers to watch Japan and Unites States military...

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