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Public opinion and foreign policy in Korea and Japan : Focusing on historical perception, political environment, and framing

  • JAPAN SPACE
  • 2023, (34), pp.67-99
  • Publisher : The Institute of Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies
  • Received : November 7, 2023
  • Accepted : November 28, 2023
  • Published : December 31, 2023

Park, Myung-Hee 1

1국회입법조사처

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to explore the relationship between historical perceptions of the people of both Korea and Japan, the political environment, and the framing by the government that shapes public opinion on foreign policy. This study uses the issues of comfort women and Koreans forced laborers during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula (1910-1945) as examples. It also uses the results of a Korea-Japan Joint Public Opinion Poll conducted by the East Asian Institute (EAI) and Genron NPO from 2013 to 2023. The results are as follows: Firstly, regardless of the government’s foreign policy, the comfort women issue remains the most significant historical matter for the Korean people, and the textbook issue for the Japanese. Changes in the political environment are driving public opinion in both countries. The framing of diplomatic issues by policymakers significantly influences the perception of their people. In Japan, the government’s framing of the issues of comfort women and forced labor was found to be accepted by public opinion. It mean that the public opinion on individual issues needs to be interpreted in the political context of each country and public opinion can be changed depending on the efforts of the governments of both countries.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.