A landmark pact between Japan and South Korea to end their dispute over the issue of “comfort women” is expected to lead to greater economic and military cooperation between the two nations.
Enhanced military and economic ties between the two US allies will complement the Obama administration’s efforts to counter China’s rise and North Korea’s nuclear threats, Bloomberg News noted.
Japan and South Korea announced Monday a “final and irreversible” agreement over the issue of comfort women, who were coerced to serve in Japanese military brothels before and during World War II.
Under the deal, the Shinzo Abe government apologized, saying it was painfully aware of Japan’s responsibility for the women’s suffering and that it will finance a fund to help the former “comfort women.”
Following the accord, the two nations are expected to use the opportunity to boost bilateral ties.
“The United States has been always, always, always looking for ways for these two to cooperate,” Robert Kelly, an international relations professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, told Bloomberg.
“The easiest way forward on the military and diplomatic side would be to do the intelligence-sharing agreement that was almost reached a few years ago.”
The US has more than 75,000 troops based in Japan and South Korea, and the two nations are key components of Washington’s effort to maintain military superiority in the region.
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