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Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 14:30 - 16:00

Lee Young-Chae, Professor, Keisen University

Rui Matsukawa, Member of the House of Councillors Liberal Democratic Party

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English and Japanese with English interpretation.

Tensions between Japan and Korea go back decades, if not centuries. Tokyo's 1910-1945 colonization of the peninsula is still resented in Seoul, and the two countries regularly squabble over issues stemming from the occupation such as the Japanese military's use of Korean women in brothels, as well as a never-ending dispute over the sovereignty of some tiny islands in the Sea of Japan.

Japan is furious that South Korea's supreme court last year ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to Koreans forced to work for them during the occupation, and believes a 1965 agreement resolved any claims by Seoul over the forced labor issue. Early this month, Tokyo went beyond the usual diplomatic protocol, and opened a new arm of the global trade war by restricting imports to South Korea of three specialized chemicals used to make semiconductors and smartphones.

With tensions worsening, South Korean's boycotting Japanese goods, and amid talk of further action that would escalate the crisis, two experts on relations between the two U.S. allies will come to the FCCJ to discuss how the issue could be resolved.

Lee Young-chae is a professor at Keisen University who specialized in Japan-Korea relations. Lee regularly appears on Japanese news discussion shows, where he puts forward the Korean perspective in debates with critics of Seoul's policies.

Rui Matsukawa is a Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Councillors. Matsukawa worked for the foreign ministry for 23 years, working on issues including Japan-China-Korea cooperation.


Doors open for TV crew only at 13:45, all others at 14:00. Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. Livestreaming of press conferences are available on our website(

*Due to space restrictions, please note there will be a limited number of reservations to attend. FCCJ members, including TV cameras, will have priority for the reservation and seating/setting positions and one TV camera for affiliate networks.

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