Tensions between Japan and Korea have been incrementally building, reaching their height over the past couple years under the watch of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Korean President Park Geun-hye. Tokyo and Seoul’s deep-rooted historical problems have thus far prevented any chance a comprehensive bilateral partnership between Washington’s two key allies in East Asia. This presents a significant obstacle for the US which is looking to coordinate between its allies in the Asia-Pacific in order to add heft to the Obama administration rebalancing strategy.

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