US envoy Stephen Bosworth arrives in Tokyo Thursday after visiting Seoul and Beijing. Implicit in his talks is a push for Japan and South Korea to cooperate for mutual defense against North Korea.
Implicit in his talks in Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo is a push for Japan and South Korea to get over the legacy of 35 years of Japanese colonial rule and decades of animosity and suspicion – and cooperate for mutual defense against the North Korea threat and concerns about China as the rising regional power.
Japanese and Korean officials deny any consideration of an alliance, citing it as politically impossible. But Mr. Bosworth, who arrives in Tokyo from Beijing and Seoul on Thursday, faces mounting questions about cooperation engineered by the United States. Washington has longstanding but separate alliances with both countries, although US officials for years have stressed the need for “trilateral cooperation" that conjures the image of a three-sided alliance in case of hostilities.
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