A survey by two leading publications in Japan shows that almost 70% of the respondents say that South Korea cannot be trusted as a “diplomatic and economic partner”. The same survey also shows that an overwhelming majority do not agree with recent decisions by Korean courts, asking Japanese companies to pay compensation to those who were forced to work for them during the war.
The opinion poll showed that 69.3% of those surveyed says the Japanese government should not trust South Korea when it comes to economic and political dealings. The two countries have been at odds over territorial issues with the Takeshima or Dokdo Islands and some lingering historical issues. A new issue that has divided the East Asian neighbours is the recent decisions by some Korean courts that decided in favor of plaintiffs who were forced to work for Japanese companies during the war. They have ordered companies like Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal to give compensation to those workers. But the stand of the Japanese government is that all issues, including monetary, were covered by the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, and the Claim Rights Agreement which normalized relations between the two after the war.
The respondents of the pool seem to agree as 82.7% said they disagree with the courts’ decisions while 79.2% said “Japan should not pay compensation”. It’s not just the general public that’s concerned about this development in the issues between Japan and South Korea. The Keidanren, one of Japan’s biggest business organizations, believes that this will worsen business and economic relations between the two. Regarding the Kono Statement, which apologized to the world over Japan’s Imperial Army forcing thousands of women during the war to become their sexual slaves (called comfort women), 55% of respondents believe it should be revised since there were no official documents to corroborate the practice while 27.5% think that it shouldn’t be revised.
[ via Japan Crush ]