Seoul calls on Tokyo to dispel concern within the region over the latter’s recent move to exercise the right to collective self defense; Seoul and Beijing are to hold their second high-level security talks in late May
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  • (MAY 5-11)

    In the wake of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent move to review the interpretation of the pacifist Constitution in order to exercise the right to collective self defense, Seoul has expressed strong concern over Japan’s possible motive behind it. It is worth noting that under the Japanese Constitution, the country is prohibited from exercising collective self defense. While noting the growing concerns among the neighbouring East Asian states over Tokyo’s recent move, South Korean foreign ministry, on May 15, has averred that Japan should take measures to dispel such doubts. Japan is reportedly hoping to include the scenario of war in the Korean Peninsula while listing the circumstances under which it could exercise the right of collective self defence. Seoul however argues that Japan should acquire explicit consent from South Korea to exercise such right. 1

    In another development, Seoul and Beijing are set to hold their second high-level security talks in the last week of May this year. The first talk of this kind was held last November. This time, South Korea is to be represented by its Presidential Security Adviser Kim Jang-soo while Chinese State Councilor and top foreign policymaker Yang Jiechi will represent China. During the talks, Seoul is primarily hoping to persuade Beijing to take concrete measures towards preventing North Korea from carrying out its fourth nuclear test. 2