Japanese-Korean Relations: A Failure Of Tsunami Diplomacy

Issue & Policy Briefs May 24, 2011, No. 68

After Japan’s triple disaster on March 11, South Koreans showed great sympathy towards Japanese victims.
In a collective move which had never been seen before, ordinary citizens and NGOs donated millions
of dollars and the government sent aid, food and rescue teams to Japan. Many Koreans expected that
Korea’s civic and unprecedented initiative would open a new era in the controversial relations between the
two countries. However, after what many Koreans saw as a cold response, it only took a few weeks to put
an end to this movement and for anti-Japanese sentiments to loom large