South Korea is intent on terminating GSOMIA and this bodes well for Japan
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Japan and South Korea are at loggerheads over history and other issues. Hence, with South Korea stating that it intends to terminate GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement), then this should free Japan from wasting time and energy with an unstable partner.
Equally, with the recent love-in between South Korea and North Korea likely to hit the rocks sooner or later, then this bodes well for Japan. After all, Japan can step back from being over-involved in any dispute between both Korea’s. Instead, let the political elites of Seoul and Pyongyang sort out their differences along with America.
This will free Japan from being held to ransom over issues that become blown up out of all proportion. Thus, Japan is freer to focus on more serious issues with China and the Russian Federation. Indeed, if the worst-case scenario ever erupted between Japan and North Korea, then America is the sole power that is needed.
In other words, South Korea isn’t a military threat to Japan. Similarly, Japan doesn’t need to be beholden to taking sides in a dispute between South Korea and North Korea. Instead, in the worst-case scenario of any conflict on the Korean Peninsula, then America would support South Korea. In other words, it isn’t in the interest of Japan to involve itself in any conflict involving South Korea and North Korea.
After the latest historical spat instigated by South Korea, then relations have plummeted between both nations. Yet, in truth, GSOMIA only came into existence in 2016. Hence, it is foolhardy to claim that it is of major significance. More important, South Korea will keep on utilizing history to bash Japan at any given time. Therefore, until South Korea becomes sincere towards Japan, then it is better to focus on more serious issues related to China and the Russian Federation.
The Council on Foreign Relations uttered, “In July, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration imposed export restrictions on goods needed by South Korean companies to produce semiconductors and took steps to remove South Korea from Japan’s list of trusted trading partners. South Korea responded by removing Japan from its own white list of trade partners and then announcing it would not renew GSOMIA. South Korea also conducted military drills near the contested Dokdo/Takeshima Islands, prompting protests from Japan.”
Overall, Japan needs cordial relations with nations that show mutual respect. Equally important, Japan should focus on boosting closer ties with China and the Russian Federation. Thus, for Japan, it is important to maintain good relations with America, while focusing on the economic, military, and political reality of Northeast Asia. Therefore, Japan shouldn’t involve itself in any conflict involving South Korea and North Korea – nor between China and Taiwan; hence, the end of GSOMIA and other areas will free Japan from an unreliable partner.
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