President Moon cancels planned visit to Tokyo Olympics because of undiplomatic language

President Moon of South Korea cancels planned visit to Tokyo Olympics because of undiplomatic language

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The rude comment by Hirohisa Soma, the Deputy Ambassador of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea, aimed at President Moon Jae-in of South Korea scuppered his planned visit to the Tokyo Olympics. Thus another chance to reset relations between Japan and South Korea bit the dust.

Since Yoshihide Suga became the new prime minister of Japan, then relations with China are worsening. Similarly, the momentum with the Russian Federation is faltering. Hence, the untimely comment by Soma might be more than the eye sees. In other words, the nationalist Japanese Foreign Ministry under the Suga administration isn’t probably too displeased.

Modern Tokyo Times reported yesterday, “Relations since Moon took office in South Korea, have been rocky between both nations. Hence, Suga, taking a similar stance to the former leader Shinzo Abe, believes that little concrete will materialize between Japan and South Korea in the short term.”

Ironically, with so much bad publicity concerning the Tokyo Olympics and the handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis under Suga, you would have thought that the leader of Japan would welcome some positive news. However, it appears that Japan isn’t in any rush to solve the dispute with South Korea.

Suga took the “no comment” option, which seems to suit his style when something important occurs. Reuters reports, “Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday he was not in a position to comment on South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s decision not to visit Japan for the Olympics.”

Japan and South Korea continue to show a lack of urgency in solving ongoing tensions between both nations. Hence, even this small step failed because of an untimely comment.


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