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South Korea releases a white paper on defense: Japan has been reduced from a “partner” to a “neighborhood”

Japanese Foreign Minister: Japan-South Korea relations are in unprecedented difficulties

National Flags of Japan and South Korea (Kyodo News Agency)

February 2nd – On the 2nd local time, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense released the latest version of the National Defense White Paper.

In the part dealing with neighboring relations, the expression related to Japan changed from a former “partner” to a “neighborhood”.

According to a report by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency on the 2nd, South Korea’s White Paper on National Defense was released the following year. In the previous white paper, Japan was called a “partner”.

In the new version of the white paper released on the 2nd, the expression about Japan has changed.

Referring to the trade friction between South Korea and Japan, the white paper said that “neighborhoods believe that they have adopted appropriate export restrictions”.

Yonhap commented that this “downgrade” reflects the continuous deterioration of South Korean-Japanese relations.

Japan’s Sankei Shimbun analyzed that Japan deleted “defense cooperation with South Korea in many fields” and other contents in the National Defense White Paper released in 2020.

South Korea’s revision of Japan’s statement this time may be a “counterattack” against Japan.

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