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The Nikkei View

Trust between Tokyo, Seoul essential for regional security

Two democracies should extend current positive momentum to more fields

An image released by North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency shows what appears to be the country's new Chollima-1 rocket being launched in Cholsan, North Korea, on May 31. (KCNA/Reuters)

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-sup, met in Singapore on June 4 and agreed to prevent a recurrence of a radar lock-on incident that occurred between a Japanese aircraft and a South Korean vessel in 2018. While the two sides still have different views on other outstanding issues, their decision to compromise and strengthen security cooperation is a welcome development.

In December that year, the Japanese government announced that a South Korean destroyer had directed its fire-control radar at a Japanese Self-Defense Forces patrol aircraft off the Noto Peninsula in Japan's Ishikawa prefecture. Seoul denied the allegation and accused the Japanese side of intimidating its warship with a low-flying patrol aircraft. The two sides' claims remain unresolved.

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