Changing Dynamics of Regional Trade and Cooperation: A Case of Japan and South Korea

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Artha-Journal of Social Science, Volume 19, Issue 4, p.01-20 (2020)



Forced Labour, Japan-South Korea Relationship, Japan’s reconciliation efforts, Trade War


Forced labour has remained a sore point in the Japan- South Korea relationship. The 2018 South Korean Supreme Court verdict on the issue of compensating Korean workers, forced by Japanese companies to work in factories and mines during World War II, has revived war-time memories in South Korea. The situation quickly escalated into a “trade war” in 2019. At a time when the security in East Asia requires Japan and South Korea to work together, a historical issue remains a lingering challenge. This article will attempt to understand the nuances of Japan-South Korea reconciliation efforts, and how the South Korean Supreme Court ruling against the Japanese Companies operating in Korea has become a political issue in both Japan and South Korea. Further, it will focus on the Japanese export control measure, regional security issue and how Covid-19 is affecting the bilateral relationship.