[Statement] Condemnation of Abe Government’s Decision to Remove Korea from Whitelist
- 2019.08.02 (09:56:20)
Condemnation of Abe Government’s Decision to Remove Korea from Whitelist
An unjust decision that undermines Japan-South Korea relations
The South Korean government must respond by proposing peaceful cooperation in Northeast Asia
On August 2, the Japanese government decided to remove South Korea from its “Whitelist” of countries with preferential export controls. The Japanese government's decision undermines friendly relations between Japan and South Korea, and as a consequence peace in Northeast Asia. This decision threatens causing harm to the people of Japan and South Korea. People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) strongly condemns the Abe government’s decision, and urges the reversal of these unilateral and unfair measures as soon as possible.
President Moon Jae-in stated that “Japan’s decision is only worsening the situation” and that “we will step up our response step by step depending on the actions of the Japanese government.” The South Korean government then announced that it would exclude Japan from South Korea’s whitelist as a countermeasure. The government's strong response is inevitable given that the Abe administration is threatening the relationship between the two countries, and that such economic retaliation is being done because of historical issues. However, proper consideration prior to implementing countermeasures is important, as to avoid needless damage. The South Korean government must also make every effort to minimize the damage caused by Japan’s current actions. Moreover, the South Korean government should do its best to resolve past grievances, such as the issues of forced labor and sexual slavery.
In addition, the South Korean government needs to respond to the Japanese government’s actions in a way that preemptively proposes the development of a peaceful cooperation structure in Northeast Asia. This would be unlike the conservatism and militarism of the Abe government. Cooperation would aim for an improvement in North Korean-Japanese relations, and for a Northeast Asia nuclear-free zone. As part of future relations the Japanese Peace Constitution must be emphasized. South Korea should immediately abolish military cooperation with Japan, in particular the General Security of Military Information Agreement(GSOMIA) between the two countries. While South Korea has no choice but to respond firmly to Japan now, in the long view, South Korea must attempt to restore friendly relations with Japan. PSPD will also continue to cooperate with Japanese civil society for peace in East Asia.