Ovi -
we cover every issue
Resource for Foreigners in Finland  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Ovi Greece
Ovi Language
Books by Avgi Meleti
The Breast Cancer Site
Murray Hunter: Opportunity, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Stop human trafficking
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
Northeast Asia's position on the conflict in Israel
by Jay Gutman
2014-08-13 10:21:53
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon

Japan and South Korea have shown restraint on the conflict in Israel, with no politicians making declarations since the conflict started. China and North Korea condemned Israeli military operations in official statements.

Japan's relations with Israel have always been economic rather than political or strategic. When in 1985 Arab states agreed they would not trade with a nation that traded with Israel, Japan signed the pact though continued to trade with Israel under the table. Japan's voting record at the UN general assembly has often favored the Palestinian Authority, though Japanese politicians rarely make declarations about the conflict in Israel. There have been recent attempts to have closer ties between Israel and Japan, including Israeli historians issuing a hypothesis that Japanese people were one of the lost tribes of Israel, though relations have mainly focused on the economy.

South Korea often abstains in General Assembly resolutions regarding Israel or the Palestinian Authority. South Korea's large evangelical Christian population has often had a very favorable view of Israel, with as many as 40,000 Korean Christians volunteering on a Kibbutz in Israel. Korea's Christian population has often viewed its relations with Israel as a pair made in heaven, as both countries gained independence in 1948, both use very similar lunar calendars and both have a long history of suffering and persecution. Still many Koreans know little about history, as there have been scandals of Nazis depicted in television commercials or Nazi-themed bars with owners having little knowledge of that period of history. Such depictions have caused ire and disgust among the expat communities of South Korea, though such scandals show how many Koreans have little knowledge about Israel. Like Japan, South Korea officially boycotted Israel during the late 80s and early 90s, though they continued trading under the table. Also like Japan, South Korea mainly focuses on economic ties with Israel, though Korea has a long history of cooperating in technology with Israel.

North Korea has always been close to the Palestinian cause, and has been said to engage in secret arms trades with terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah or the Islamic Jihad. North Korea is the only Northeast Asian state not to recognize the State of Israel, and its possession of nuclear weapons have been a headache for the Jewish state. It has been said that North Korea was helping Iran and Syria with its nuclear programs, posing a direct threat to Israel.

China has had excellent relations with Israel, though has occasionally condemned Israel as was the case recently with the current conflict or during the Gaza flotilla incident. Relations between Israel and China are comprehensive, ranging from military to political to military relations. Arms trades between China and Israel have sometimes irritated the Western world, causing some arms sales to be cancelled due to European and American pressure. China's relations with the Palestinian authority have also caused concern among Israelis. In the 2006 elections, China recognized the Hamas government in Gaza. In June this year, China recognized the Palestinian unity government. There were also concerns that Chinese banks were harboring the funds of Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, claims that the Chinese have always denied.

Though Northeast Asia used to play a minimal role in Israeli foreign policy, the rise of China and dangers of North Korea have been changing the importance relations with the region. North Korea's alleged support to terrorist organizations has been a strategic one for a nation isolated by the international community. North Korea could normalize its relations with Israel if the long-held economic sanctions were lifted, though the unpredictable nature of the regime calls for caution.

China's increasing military power has also added an important player in the conflict. China has relatively little historical relations with Israel and played no significant role during World War II. Relations with Israel have rather been normal, though there are increasing tensions between European and Latin American Jewish communities and Chinese communities who are fiercely competing in areas such as wholesales or textiles in those regions. At the Israeli level, both China and Israel have advanced weaponry and satellite technology in which cooperation relations are excellent, though Israel's close relations with China in those domains has received calls for more caution among European states and the United States who fear secrets may be traded in those areas.

As for Japan and South Korea, it seems as though relations will remain mainly economic. Both countries have always shown restraint during conflicts in the Middle East, preferring to focus on economic ties. There have been attempts by the parties to use soft power in dealing with each other, though in Japan and South Korea, the Jewish state is just seen as a state actor among many others, with no particularly privileged or tainted ties between the parties.

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi