The United States government has repeated a call to both Japan and South Korea to try to repair their ties that have been confounded by territorial and historical issues the past few months. The world power has said that having peaceful relations between its two closest regional allies is beneficial not just to them but also to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the US State Department, said during a briefing on Wednesday, that they are hoping that the two Asian powerhouses will be able to settle their differences through dialogue. Trilateral coordination between their three countries is essential to maintain peace and security, particularly when it comes to an issue like North Korea and its continued nuclear program. She made these statements after one of the reporters asked her what she thought of recent statements by leaders from the NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, about the country’s wartime past.
New NHK head Katsuto Momii earlier this year said that the sex slave system during war was not just used by Japan, but also by other countries, including the United States. Then just two weeks ago, a board member of the NHK and a novelist, Naoki Hyakuta called the US’ World War II air raids on Tokyo as “genocide”. He also denied that the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, considered to be one of the darkest periods in Chinese history, was Japan’s responsibility.
Harf was also asked what she thought about a statement from one of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s special advisors, Eto Seiichi, criticizing the American government for their unhappiness over Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. She said that their stand on the premier’s visit, as well as their encouragement to for a dialogue with Japan and its Asian neighbours, will not be swayed by these kinds of statements. “Obviously, we will continue to encourage – if we’re talking about Japan and South Korea relationship – encourage both of our allies to work together,” she said.
[ via Global Post ]