South Korea has postponed the singing of its first military information sharing deal with Japan amid strong opposition in Seoul against the agreement, Press TV reports.
The controversial military pact which was called off shortly before being signed on Friday, provoked serious criticism from South Korean civic groups and political parties over what they called the government’s disregard for Japan’s wartime atrocities.
Anti-Japan sentiments are prevalent among South Koreans due to Tokyo’s colonial rule over South Korea until the end of World War II in 1945.
This comes while, according to proponents of the agreement, it would enable South Korea and Japan to share sensitive intelligence, especially with regard to North Korea and China.
However, referring to Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo growing trilateral relationship, opponents argue that the military deal with Japan was set to be clinched by the encouragement of the US.
“South Korea and Japan’s military agreement was made at the request of the US as Washington hopes to create a missile defense system. If it goes through it will cause a new cold war, threatening the peace in East Asia. Therefore, we are firmly against the pact and request the government to denounce it immediately,” a South Korean activist told Press TV.
Meanwhile military experts warn that the pact could set Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo against Pyongyang, Beijing, and Moscow.
“South Korea is the biggest victim of Japan’s militarism as well as the cold war. Regardless, the South Korean government has been showing support for Japan’s military power and a possible new cold war in East Asia. This can cause a deep and strategic burden to the next administration and the next generation,” said another activist.
If signed, the information-sharing pact would mark the first military deal between Seoul and Tokyo in decades.