US Welcomes Icebreaker Between Japan, South Korea

The United States is commending an icebreaker between South Korea and Japan. The two U.S. allies have been long at odds over their history, as enemies during World War II.

The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, says the warming relations could also help the United States because the Chinese Communist Party often seeks to drive wedges between American allies. He added that “part of China’s entire strategy is division.”

Reacting to the news, Beijing’s foreign ministry said it opposes efforts to set up what it called “exclusionary cliques.”

Japan and South Korea pledged to boost intelligence sharing about North Korea’s movements. Both sides have also taken a step back to soften relations. Japan says it would loosen restrictions on certain chemical exports to South Korea needed for semiconductor manufacturing.

As for South Korea, President Yoon Suk Yeol arranged for a fund to compensate Koreans who worked as forced laborers in Japan during World War II. This relates to one of the biggest disputes between the two countries. South Korea has been demanding Japan pay the laborers, but Tokyo said a 1965 treaty had settled the issue.

 

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