Japan and Korea: Uneasy Friends Battling Pirates

29.01.09

Categorie: Alliances, Asia, Naval, Piracy |

Contributor Kyle Mizokami writes:

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If the situation off the coast of Somalia has any one positive outcome, it could be bringing together countries that otherwise would never cooperate. As French, German, and Russian forces cooperated during the Boxer Rebellion, common interests in the Indian Ocean are pushing South Korea and Japan to cooperate as well.

The historical enmity between the two nations has its roots in the brutal Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and Japan’s insistence during the postwar era to not fully own up to past atrocities and war crimes. Most recently the two countries have bickered over the ownership of Dokdo, a 168-acre patch of nothing. Fortunately, under American regional hegemony the two countries have not reverted to being enemies but rather economic and military rivals.

Last week, both Japan and South Korea decided to send ships to Somalia. The South Koreans are sending one Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin (KDX-II)-class destroyer, pictured. The Japanese are proposing to send a naval task force of unknown composition, likely including at least two destroyers and a replenishment ship. (You can bet that if the South Koreans are sending a KDX-II destroyer, one of their most modern, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force will send the best they can without detaching ships from the Ballistic Missile Defense mission.)

According to The Japan Times, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak have agreed to work together together to coordinate the escort of civilian shipping in areas of pirate activity. Though this does not include the naval forces of both countries working together, it apparently will involve the possibility of one country escorting the other’s civilian shipping. Such missions are without precedent in relations between the two countries.

Reaction on both sides is mixed but predictable. In South Korea, the announcement has not been widely reported in the Korea press, probably because the government knows that this is not going to go over very well with public opinion. The Japan Times says that it is “not unusual” that South Korean-flagged ships would be escorted by MSDF ships. This attitude is not surprising, since modern Japan has reinvented itself as everyone’s peaceful friend, and seems to be genuinely taken by surprise whenever anyone airs a contrary opinion.

Japan and South Korea are natural economic competitors, but also natural military allies. Both export-driven economies heavily reliant on imported resources, they share the same interests — the stability of East Asia and the security of global shipping lanes. Generally speaking, they’re on the same page on everything except for North Korea, which Japan views as a bad neighbor and South Korea views as a bad brother. One gets the feeling that between the two nations military partnership is an inevitability, although only after Korean unification.

The notion that Japan and South Korea might grow closer because of military action off the coast of Africa is something nobody could have anticipated. It’s a small matter of cooperation, baby steps compared to the daily joint operations between the United States and its western allies. And the world does occasionally see countries working together that promptly go back to baiting each other (two members of NATO in particular come to mind.) It will take decades to become fully realized, but the Somalia mission, for both Japan and South Korea, is the beginning of a military partnership.

(Photo: Chosun.com)

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13 Responses to “Japan and Korea: Uneasy Friends Battling Pirates”

  1. Actions Cancelled Department says:

    in yesterdays report i stated 33 as a newer rising issue. there is a bloggers roundtable meeting today. i was wonderingif you could get clarification on that. My Gov E Cleaver is now sitting in on Homeland Security board! Word!
    http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/16820

  2. [...] Bless Robert Farley for being optimistic, but «The notion that Japan and South Korea might grow closer because of military action off the coast of Africa…» strikes me as just plain wrong. And, Pyongyang’s antics might be the least of the causes for launching Japanese and South Korean politicians to placate their respective constituencies. Success itself could be the undoing of both rivals’ «joint» participation in Combined Task Force 151. [...]

  3. [...] Related: Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight piratesbr> Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  4. [...] Related: C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  5. [...] Related: Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  6. [...] Piracy expert Martin Murphy, from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C., agrees with McKnight’s assessment, but adds a note of caution. He says there’s “a fair degree of posturing going on” among the nations and alliances battling piracy, a club that has expanded to the U.S., the European Union, NATO, China, Russia, India, Yemen, Kenya, Japan, South Korea and others. [...]

  7. [...] Related: Exclusive Video: How the Littoral Combat Ship Will Fight Pirates Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa 2 Comments so far Leave a comment [...]

  8. [...] Related: Wired.co.uk: Beating Somali Pirates at Their Own Game Piracy War Escalates: Korean Seafarer Shot in Attack Video: How the Littoral Combat Ship Will Fight Pirates Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  9. [...] (Photo: Indian navy) Related: Pirates Seize Ship with U.S. Crew Wired.co.uk: Beating Somali Pirates at Their Own Game Piracy War Escalates: Korean Seafarer Shot in Attack Video: How the Littoral Combat Ship Will Fight Pirates Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  10. [...] Related: Esquire.com: Five Pirated Crews who Didn’t Fare as Well as the Americans Pirates Seize Ship with U.S. Crew Wired.co.uk: Beating Somali Pirates at Their Own Game Piracy War Escalates: Korean Seafarer Shot in Attack Video: How the Littoral Combat Ship Will Fight Pirates Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  11. [...] Japan and Korea: Uneasy Friends Battling Pirates Jump to Comments Post #2 for War is Boring, on Japan/Korean naval cooperation battling Somalia’spirates. [...]

  12. [...] Related: Piracy War’s Unusual Friends, Tragic Victims NATO General: Piracy Legal Challenge “Complex” Google, Radio Mix for Pirate Early Warning Pirates Smarter, More Dangerous, More Numerous South Park Goes Pirating Coast Guard’s Legal War on Pirates Mental Floss: Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Pirates Somali Pirates versus the Tuna Trade Esquire.com: Five Pirated Crews who Didn’t Fare as Well as the Americans Pirates Seize Ship with U.S. Crew Wired.co.uk: Beating Somali Pirates at Their Own Game Piracy War Escalates: Korean Seafarer Shot in Attack Video: How the Littoral Combat Ship Will Fight Pirates Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  13. [...] Piracy expert Martin Murphy, from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C., agrees with McKnight’s assessment, but adds a note of caution. He says there’s “a fair degree of posturing going on” among the nations and alliances battling piracy, a club that has expanded to the U.S., the European Union, NATO, China, Russia, India, Yemen, Kenya, Japan, South Korea and others. [...]

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