Shinzo Abe says Seoul’s withdrawal from intelligence-sharing deal ‘damages mutual trust’

Aug 25, 2019Statements, News

Japan and the US have expressed alarm after South Korea formally withdrew from an intelligence-sharing deal with Tokyo.

Analysts said the move could jeopardise efforts to track and curtail North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

Senior officials exchanged angry statements on Friday amid what experts are calling the worst crisis in Japan-South Korea relations in decades, with prime minister Shinzo Abe saying the decision had “damaged mutual trust”.

Mr. Abe, before leaving to join the G7 summit in France, said that Tokyo “will continue to closely coordinate with the US to ensure regional peace and prosperity, as well as Japan’s security”.

“The situation is escalating, and it’s hard to see how the spiralling conflict can be stopped,” said Koichi Ishizaka, an expert on intercultural communication and a professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo.

Mr. Ishizaka said Mr. Abe probably also feels like he can score domestic political points by taking a hard stance on South Korea, despite the close cultural ties between the two countries.

“Although cordial exchange between the people is working for a brighter future, politics has taken a step back and has not caught up with that,” he said.

The original article can be found here.

The Boston Global Forum honored Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with the World Leader for Peace and Cybersecurity Award on Global Cybersecurity Day, December 12, 2015, at Harvard University Faculty Club.