On Sunday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held his second summit meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in as many months.

Kishida’s successful visit to Seoul, a positive step forward, at least in the short term, may not have been possible without the perfect combination of Seoul's courageous political initiative, Tokyo's balanced diplomatic response and Washington's quiet cheerleading.

Yet the reaction of the Japanese media was rather unusual. In an editorial, the normally liberal, anti-authority Asahi Shimbun daily wrote, "Shuttle diplomacy is back on the track (and) it should be on after 12 years. Although some were cautious about his early visit to Seoul, Kishida himself expressed his willingness to reciprocate, and it was a wise decision of his.”