An arduous Korea-Japan summit


South Korea President Park Geun-hye and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the first high-level meeting in Seoul on Monday. The meeting was postponed for more than three years because of historical issues and territorial disputes between two nations.

Before this one-and-one-half hours meeting were the months of diplomatic negotiations. However, they produced no breakthrough. South Korean KBS reported that Korea-Japan summit mainly discussed the issue of so-called comfort women — tens of thousands of Korean and other Asian women sent to work at front-line brothels for Japan’s World War II military. Park asked Japan to give a sincerely apologize and compensate the comfort women before they left the world, while Abe claimed that all the problems from Japan’s often brutal colonization of Korea from 1910 to 1945 have been resolved in Treaty on Basic Relations Between Korean and Japan in 1965.

According to the Japanese reports, Abe told Japanese reporters that he agreed to try to find an “early solution” to the subject of comfort women. He said he did not want to “leave an obstacle for the future generations in building” relations with South Korea.

The news has triggered uproar among the social media in Japan and Korean. One of the interesting topics is the summit didn’t prepare a luncheon for Abe, so Abe and the Japanese ambassador went to eat barbecue in Seoul themselves.

Sankei Shimbun reports that, according to the shop, Abe ordered Korean beef tenderloin and spiced pork. The lunch also lasted one and a half hours and Abe finished all of his meal. Many Japanese netizens expressed their dissatisfaction with Park Geun-hye. They criticized Park Geun-hye, saying the leader had no common sense.

The meeting was a chance for both Park and Abe to save face, but both were in an awkward position. It is still unknown if the two countries can possibly reach a final agreement.