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Relations between Japan and South Korea are currently strained due to a dispute over former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula during World War II. The heart of the problem is whether the promises made between our two sovereign states when they decided to normalize their relations in 1965 will be kept or not.

In some people’s view, Japan’s recent update of its export control measures related to South Korea is linked to this question of former civilian workers. I want to make it clear that they are completely separate issues.

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