From early 2012, South Korea-Japan relations worsened due to what many Koreans regard as a series of Japanese provocations involving historical and territorial disputes. Unfortunately, the neighbors failed to utilize the opportunity to improve the situation following leadership changes in both countries at the beginning of 2013. Today their bilateral relationship, long considered a cornerstone of peace and stability in Northeast Asia, appears to the worst since the normalization of diplomatic ties in 1965. Former Korean ambassador to Japan Shin Kak-soo will analyze the complicated structural reasons behind this downward spiral and explore whether differences over history can be addressed and an early diplomatic "reset" achieved.
Ambassador Shin has served various diplomatic positions during his thirty-five year career in foreign affairs, including service as ambassador to the State of Israel from 2006 to 2008 and to Japan from 2011 to 2013. He is currently a professor at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy and also a special research fellow at the Institute of Japanese Studies, Seoul National University.
The Koret Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 2013 with the generous support of the Koret Foundation.