An introductory section about the relationship between Korea and Japan on Japan's foreign affairs ministry website used to say
that Korea, an important neighbor, shares basic thoughts on freedom, democracy and economic issues.
But the ministry has taken out a chunk of the explanation, and now it just says that Korea is Japan's "most important neighbor."
Japan's Foreign Ministry said the change was made to make it similar to recently used expressions.
In fact, two years ago when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked about Korea-Japan relations, he used wording that was similar to what used to be on the homepage, while what he said during a policy meeting last month was more like the current expression.
(Feb. 12, 2015)
"Korea is our most important neighboring country."
The Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper quoted a government official as saying the revision shows Japan's mistrust towards Korea.
While Korea's foreign ministry did not make specific comments on the significance of the change, it told Arirang News that it's up to the Japanese government to explain what's behind their revision.
There is speculation that the removal of the words may hold some greater meaning, as Abe has recently hinted he will take out references to Japan's war atrocities in a statement he will make in August marking Japan's surrender at the end of World War Two.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.