The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan not to take countermeasures over S. Korea’s exit from pact

August 24, 2019

Tokyo--Japan does not intend to take any countermeasures anytime soon, though it is frustrated by South Korea's decision to scrap a bilateral intelligence-sharing pact, sources familiar with the situation said.

Japanese officials Friday expressed displeasure with the South Korean decision to exit the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA. "Regrettably, South Korea is continuing actions to damage trust between the two countries," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

But the Japanese government thinks it would not be the right decision to act to worsen the situation as the United States is irritated by Seoul's move to disrupt security cooperation between the three countries to counter North Korean threats, the sources said.

Japan plans to take a restrained stance for the time being after the United States expressed strong concern and disappointment over the South Korean decision, the sources said.

Tokyo believes that public opinion in South Korea, now caught up in anti-Japan sentiment, may change if Japan does not fuel a mood of conflict and continues to take a quiet stance, the sources said.

"If public opinion changes, the approach of the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in will change," a senior Japanese government official said. "We should wait and see without making a fuss."

But waiting for a change in public opinion in South Korea means that there is no prospect for an immediate improvement in ties between the two countries.

A senior official of Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party said the prime minister should hold talks with Moon to break the diplomatic deadlock. Jiji Press