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Korea-Japan relations ahead of Korea's Liberation Day Updated: 2013-08-14 16:44:03 KST

Korea-Japan relations ahead of Korea's Liberation Day
As Korea gears up to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the nation's liberation from Japan's 35-year-long colonial rule Korea-Japan relations are at a new low with historical and territorial issues hampering diplomatic relations.

And, depending on how Tokyo commemorates August 15th, the ties could improve or deteriorate even more.
For more on Seoul-Tokyo relations, we're now joined live by Dr. Bong Young-shik, director of the Center for Foreign Policy at Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

Good evening, Dr. Bong. Welcome back.

Happy to be here.

So, Korea-Japan relations aren't at their best - that's for sure.
The relations have gotten particularly icy in recent months - since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a conservative hawkish leader, took office in the island nation.
And, how his Cabinet moves tomorrow - Liberation Day for Korea and a day marking its surrender in World War II for Japan - will be a turning point for either the better or the worse.
At least two cabinet members and a ruling party executive have announced that they will visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine tomorrow.
What do you expect to see tomorrow and what are your thoughts?

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a recent speech said revising Japan’s Pacifist Constitution is part of his “historic mission."
That, of course, will not help Japan improve relations with its neighboring countries.
Why is the Japanese leader so adamant in carrying this out?

When Korean presidents give speeches on Liberation Day, what they say is watched very closely.
It will be President Park Geun-hye's first Liberation Day speech as the president of this country. What can we expect?

The diplomatic climate between the two countries has gotten so bad that the two new leaders - President Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - have not even held summit talks since taking office.
How should the two leaders take this opportunity - the August 15th Liberation Day - to improve bilateral relations?

Dr. Bong Young-shik, Director of the Center for Foreign Policy at the Asan Institute in Seoul, thanks ever so much for speaking with this this evening. We always appreciate it.
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