With tensions rising between South Korea and Japan over trade “rude remarks” from Ambassadors and differences about historical events including labor treatment, the surprise events continue. A 78-year-old South Korean man died just hours after setting himself ablaze in Seoul, near the Japanese embassy. The worsening tensions between Japan and South Korea have been marked by weakly events such as this one. The man, surnamed Kim, ignited a fire inside his car which was parked in front of a building where the embassy is located.
He later died in a Seoul hospital of his injuries. Police said that Kim phoned a friend just before the act, telling him that he would self-immolate to express his antipathy toward Japan. Now that anti-Japan sentiment is rising, causing the worst relationship in decades, there are actions that express frustration. Mr Kim was angry at the trade talks and export curbs Japan has placed on South Korea. South Korean have said that Japan is retaliating due to local court rules that ordered Japanese firms to pay compensation for Japanese forced laborers in the 1910 to 1945 era.
Our Views: Japan and South Korea must now work with the US and Trump to bring a series of meetings to the table and work out differences. Japan suggests that it made peace with South Korea in 1965 and is focused on those talks to settle disputes, where South Korea is making the case the Japan owes money and compensation.