Foreign Minister Taro Kono was furious — or at least looked that way — during a July 19 face-off in Tokyo with South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo.

Suddenly interrupting the Japanese-language translator for Nam, Kono began castigating the envoy for being "extremely rude" — a highly unusual scene for a high-level diplomatic meeting open to journalists and television crews from both countries.

"What the South Korean government is doing right now is tantamount to overturning the foundation of the post-World War II international order," Kono thundered at Nam.