Japan, South Korea, US: historic trilateral summit

Japan, South Korea and the US have pledged to cooperate more closely in the areas of economy, military and intelligence to strengthen their position vis-à-vis China and North Korea. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke of a new era of friendship at the first-ever summit between the three powers, although relations are still strained due to Japan’s brutal colonisation of Korea between 1910 and 1945. Does this mark a new beginning?

The Observer (GB) /

Leaving the feuds of the 20th century behind

The trilateral pact marks a turning point for Japan and South Korea, The Observer comments:

“For Japan, the Camp David agreement marks another significant stage in its journey away from postwar pacifism towards becoming a fully fledged, fully armed member of the US-led western democratic alliance. It will add to Tokyo’s sense of growing confrontation with China. For South Korea, the trilateral pact may come to be seen as the moment it finally moved on from the bitter feud with Japan over the latter’s 20th-century colonisation of the peninsula. Credit is due to Yoon, who has taken to describing Tokyo as a ‘partner’ with shared values and interests.”

France Inter (FR) /

Camp David 2.0

This is also a victory for the US, France Inter comments with approval:

“Joe Biden is in top form. He is a man of the Cold War, perhaps one of the last to attach so much importance to the US’s traditional allies: Europe + Turkey and Japan + South Korea. Two pillars on which the US’s global influence rests. Until recently, it also had a pillar in the Middle East, but it is struggling to hold on in the face of humiliating defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. All the more reason not to repeat the same mistakes: the US is playing the role of mediator between Japan and South Korea — just as it did at Camp David between Israel and Egypt in 1978.”

Anthony Bellanger
Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Beijing now has one problem more

Corriere della Sera comments on what the summit means for China:

“From Beijing’s point of view, the Camp David summit is confirmation that America plans to encircle the People’s Republic in Asia: just as it has encircled Russia in Europe, according to Vladimir Putin’s propaganda. ... The Japanese and South Koreans are overcoming grudges dating back to World War II to form a protective triangle with America, ranging from missile defence to intelligence cooperation pacts. The miracle of Japanese-Korean reconciliation, however, was not performed by Joe Biden, but by Xi himself. China has repeatedly imposed harsh economic sanctions on Tokyo and Seoul to chastise their independence. And its navy and air force have multiplied their encroachments on the waters and skies of its neighbours.”

Federico Rampini