South Korea, Japan to Meet on Dispute
14 July 2019 | 6:35 am
Officials from Japan and South Korea are expected to hold the first talks later Friday over Tokyo’s decision to restrict vital tech exports. Tensions between the two countries haven’t been this bad in decades and there seems to be no easy way out.
Under a 2019 revision of the law, globally recognized K-pop stars were allowed to put off their service until 30. Military service is hugely controversial in South Korea where all able-bodied men aged between 18 and 28 must fulfil their duties as part of efforts to defend against nuclear-armed North Korea.
China's growing military strength has spurred Japan and Australia to step up security cooperation. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will also seek to shore up supplies of natural gas and coal on a two-day trip to Perth.
The new deal allows the two countries' armies to train together, along with the sharing of more sensitive intelligence. China's increasing influence in the region has spurred the need for greater cooperation.
DW spoke with a woman who said she was victimized by the South Korea-based church. She wants Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government to take action and curb the religious organization's vast political influence.
President Han Duck-soo said the government would carry out a "thorough investigation" as the casualty count continued to climb overnight. A 561-member task force will interview witnesses to the tragedy.
Police have set up a 475-member task force as the president and prime minister call for new safety measures to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
Federal police in South Korea have raided local police departments as part of an investigation into alleged ineptitude. Police have already admitted mistakes in responding to the crowd surge that killed scores of people.
North Korea fired at least 23 missiles into the sea on Wednesday, including one that landed less than 60 km (40 miles) off South Korea's coast, which South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol described as "territorial encroachment" and Washington denounced as "reckless".
Japan is the only G7 country which does not recognise same-sex unions. But this week, its capital Tokyo began rolling out a partnership certificate scheme. It allows same-sex couples to be treated as married couples for certain public services, this for the first time. Those services include housing, medicine and welfare.
Japan has a shrinking pool of young workers to fund retirement and healthcare. The only answer appears to be raising pension and health deductions from paychecks, but that is likely to be deeply unpopular.
Seoul has long walked a tightrope between China, its most important trading partner, and the US, its closest security ally.
Toru Kubota, a Japanese documentary filmmaker who was sentenced to ten years in prison in Myanmar, has expressed relief after being freed by the junta in an amnesty. Martin Fritz reports from Tokyo.
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