Distant neighbours : Japan and Korea in the early 1980s

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


In January 1983, for the first time since 1945, Japanese flags flew over the old Capitol Building and other government offices in the centre of Seoul. The reason was the first ever official visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to South Korea. Whether or not Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro’s visit really marked “a new and vital stage” in Japan-Korea relations is debatable, but it certainly did signal a change in the atmosphere of a relationship which has been characterised by strain and discordance throughout the post-war period. This article falls into three parts; firstly, delineating certain historical legacies which have done much to condition the present state of Japan-Korea relations, secondly, covering the issues that have come to the forefront since Chun Doo-hwan became President of South Korea, and finally, examining the implications of this visit by Prime Minister Nakasone and its aftermath. The main focus of this paper will be on Japan's relations with South Korea, although it is impossible to leave the North Korean dimension out of any such discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
JournalAsian Profile
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1984
Externally publishedYes


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