I was meeting with politicians, retired military officers (who all seem to be professors after retirement), experts and others for the big project, so I was not focused on asking about ROK-Japan relations, just like I didn't ask in Japan last year about the relationship. But stuff comes up:
"The governing party wants to diversify its alliance relations so that it is not quite so dependent on the US, so they are seeking to improve relations with Russia, India, Indonesia ....." Notice who is omitted.
"We are working to develop responses to threats, such as North Korea, China, Japan ...."This was a pretty striking contrast as South Korea rarely came up in Japan. It kind of reminds me of Texas Tech being ignored by Texas A&M, which was more focused on the rivalry with U of Texas (insert South Korea, Japan and China respectively).
I didn't go to a war museum in Japan unless one counts the Yasukuni Shrine, so it is hard to compare with the War Memorial in Seoul. So, nope, I didn't see the Japanese version of this:
Takeshima (Japan's name). This site covers the issue fairly well.
Anyhow, the point du jour is that I got to see up close glimpses of Korean attitudes about Japan, and, well, they are not much of a foundation for any kind of deeper security relationship. The stuff we hear about seems to be pretty real. Which means my pessimism for East Asian security is multidimensional.