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Korea's Economic Relations with Japan
Author: Kim Gyu-Pan
Published July 18, 2017
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Korea's economic relations with Japan, which were re-established as a result of the diplomatic normalization between the two countries in 1965, have transformed from dependent to interdependent. The extraordinary economic growth that Korea accomplished during the post-war period was largely due to intermediate goods imported from Japan, and technical cooperation and joint ventures with Japanese enterprises. However, in the 21st century, the dependence of Korean firms on Japanese technology has somewhat declined as global enterprises have appeared in Korea. In contrast to the post-war economic boom, Japanese companies now prefer to cooperate with their Korean counterparts, resulting in joint business ventures between Korean and Japanese firms being continuously developed. This reversal in the economic ties between Korea and Japan can be attributed to several reasons including: the rise of China; Japan's two lost decades; and Korea's push for domestic structural reform as well as economic globalization after the Asian Currency Crisis of 1997. Nonetheless, the issue of Korea's trade imbalance with Japan, which was established during the post-war period, still remains thereby serving as a serious impediment to FTA negotiations between Korea and Japan as well as Korea's TPP negotiations.

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