Not everyone is happy that the Liberal Democratic Party has wrested back power from the Democratic Party of Japan in the recently concluded elections. South Korea fears that the government under returning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will bring back the “era of armed confrontation”.
Dong-A Ilbo, a South Korean national broadsheet, has said that Abe and the LDP have made a lot of right-wing promises during the campaign period and might bring back “militarism” to the government. Japan and South Korea are still in a territorial dispute over the Takeshima Islands, or Dokdo in South Korea, that was worsened when President Lee Myung-bak made a visit. He was the first South Korean president to do so.
Unnamed Korean officials and media outlets have also said that they should be wary of Abe’s refusal to acknowledge the World War II crimes that the Japanese committed, especially the fact that Korean women were forced into sexual slavery during the Japanese occupation. Hankyoreh, another daily, is concerned that in order to lift Japan out of its current economic doldrums, the LDP may lower the value of the yen which will adversely affect South Korean exporters.
However, the South Korean foreign ministry has not made any official statement for or against the election of Abe. The ministry spokesman has just said that the LDP will look at their past relations and continue to build on their bilateral relationships.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]