Korean Defense Paper Describes Japan as Close Neighbor

SEOUL (Jiji Press) — South Korea’s Defense Ministry described Japan as a close neighbor in its biennial white paper released Thursday.

Japan is a close neighbor that South Korea should build a future-oriented cooperative relationship with, the document said.

The previous 2020 edition referred to Japan as only a neighboring country.

The latest 2022 edition said the two countries share values, signaling South Korean defense authorities’ intention to deepen intelligence ties with Japan.

Relations between Japanese and South Korean defense authorities have been strained over issues including a 2018 incident in which a South Korean warship directed a fire control radar at a Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol plane.

The white paper described North Korea as an enemy.