AsiaToday reporter Park Ji-eun
Yoshihide Soeya, Professor Emeritus of Keio University, called for South Korea and Japan’s role to discover a new trilateral cooperation structure that does not include the United States and China, saying, “The cooperation between South Korea, the United States, and Japan, is ultimately aimed at coexisting with China.”
Professor Soeya made the remarks during his presentation at the Indo-Pacific Vision Forum 2023, hosted by AsiaToday, on November 9.
“Japan has traditionally relied on the U.S.-Japan alliance, but the recent restoration of Korea-Japan relations has opened the stage for trilateral cooperation with South Korea and the U.S.,” said the professor, who delivered a presentation under the theme of “Japan and ROK as Equal Partners: The Hub in Regional and Global Minilateral Cooperation.” He said that South Korea is traditionally surrounded by four powers – the U.S., Japan, Russia, and China – and has faced a change due to improved relations with Japan.
Professor Soeya insisted that South Korea and Japan should form a cooperative body with new third countries, such as Australia and India, in order to survive in the new cold war era triggered by the U.S.-China competition. “If we want to live in this region, we must coexist with China. It is an undeniable option,” he said. “Deterrence (against China) is important, but the ultimate goal is to prevent the outbreak of the U.S.-China war and coexist with China,” he said. “We need to create various minilateral frameworks such as Japan-Korea-India and Japan-Korea-Australia.”