ROK-Japan Trade Row: Dispute raises fears for economy and security pact
Turning now to the escalating tensions between South Korea and Japan over Tokyo's economic sanctions and the dispute over forced wartime labor. Terrence Terashima has more from Tokyo.
The trade war between Japan and South Korea has rapidly escalated, after Tokyo removed Seoul from its so-called "White List" -- an index of trusted trade partners. The Japanese government says it is not a trade ban, but companies will have to go through extra steps to export to South Korea. Furious at Japan, South Koreans have expressed their anger by boycotting Japanese goods, as well as stopping travel to the country and participating in events in Japan.
MOON JAE-IN SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT "Even if there are any gains, they will be short-lived. In the end, it's a game without winners, where everyone -- including Japan itself -- becomes a victim."
There have also been protests in Japan against Shinzo Abe, mixing trade and historical issues.
JAPANESE CITIZEN "As a Japanese citizen, I cannot permit the Abe administration's bad and insulting attitude, and I feel very sorry towards the Korean people. So that's why I am here today."
JAPANESE CITIZEN "On trade, I can support Japan's position, but if it's something to do with going back to historical issues, I think that would be a problem."
The ripple effect is spreading towards security as well.
TERRENCE TERASHIMA TOKYO "Japan and South Korea relations are at their worst period raising concerns around the regional economy and security. The U.S. is urging the two governments to exercise restraint, and maintain the trilateral security agreement."
South Korea on Friday said they would review whether to continue the General Security of Military Information Agreement, an essential element in the tripartite security cooperation with the United States. The Japanese Defense Ministry said on Friday that it will effectively lower South Korea's status as an important security cooperation partner in this year's white paper on defense. Tokyo has expressed concerns about the partnership, citing recent incidents, including one in December in which a South Korean destroyer allegedly locked its fire-control radar on a Japanese Self-Defence Force plane in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
JAPANESE CITIZEN "We are the closest neighbors, so I want to say 'don't be stubborn' to both sides and let us find common grounds."
The public are worried that sentiments will escalate given the time of the year when historical issues are reminded. Terrence Terashima, CGTN, Tokyo.