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South Korea and Japan should bury the historical hatchet

Countries are natural allies against assertive China

| South Korea

South Koreans were taken by surprise when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on July 4 that Japan was reviewing possible controls on shipments of vital materials for making semiconductors and might even downgrade Korea as a preferential trade partner -- as it did last Friday.

The Korean tiger is used to roaring at its neighbor, for example with 20 years of weekly demonstrations outside Japan's embassy. Relations between the two countries are testy, due to unresolved historical matters. But this time when the green pheasant, Japan's national symbol, roared back, the Koreans were shocked.

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