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Japan and South Korea were minutes away from agreeing a new strategic treaty to offset the rise of China — when the signing was called off because of an outcry from South Korea. The military pact, the first between South Korea and Japan since the Second World War, had been seen as a breakthrough between the neighbours despite their difficult history. The agreement had caused an uproar in South Korea, which was ruled by Japan as a colony for decades until the end of the Second World War in 1945.
But it’s seen as a crucial element in the shift of US military power to the Asia-Pacific, which includes a new alliance with India and stationing troops in Australia.