As we draw to the end of the so-called Year of Korea and Japan, which was sort of forced on the two neighbors by FIFA, we should take a moment to reflect on just how much closer the countries across the Sea of Japan have grown in the past 10 months.

For the most part, the Japanese have been cordial, though the strain of being cordial has sometimes shown. Koreans, not noted for subtlety or restraint, have been less cordial, but hardly rude. We know these things because the Japanese media has spent more time covering Korea (South and North) this year than ever before, and they’ve inevitably tried to compare the Korean mind-set to that of the Japanese.

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