Japan and South Korea’s relationship has been on the decline since activists from South Korea placed a “comfort woman” statue in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan, South Korea, in December. In the meantime, North Korea has been conducting multiple missile test, creating rising tension on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S. is seeing to address that tension by creating a 38-second video posted to Facebook, according to The Washington Post.
“The video is meant to emphasize U.S.-Japan-South Korea military cooperation to counter the growing threat of North Korea” and “shows U.S. B-1B bombers taking off from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, being escorted first by Japanese F-2 fighters over Japanese territory and then by South Korean F-15 fighters over South Korean territory,” said Yuki Asaba, a professor at the University of Niigata.
“These flights demonstrate the solidarity between South Korea, the United States and Japan to defend against North Korea’s provocative and destabilizing actions,” said Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command.
Professor Asaba and his team, Tesuro Kobayashi, associate professor at the City University of Hong Kong and Kobe University and Atsushi Tago, professor of international relations at Kobe University, conducted an experiment to see if the video will make a difference in Japan and South Korea’s relationship.
Asaba said the test included an online experiment with 1,050 participants from Yahoo Cloud Japan. The participants were split in half, where one group watched the video about Japan and South Korea and the second group watched an unrelated video.
Asaba and his team reported finding 45 percent of those who watched the Japan and South Korea video supported strengthening the cooperation between the two countries, while 38 percent of those who watched the unrelated video supported strengthening cooperation.
“Of course, this experiment is necessarily artificial in that it asked people to watch the video. Most people aren’t surfing the U.S. Pacific Command website of their own accord. Nevertheless, watching the video even once did have an effect, increasing Japanese support for cooperation with South Korea even though relations between the two countries were at historically low levels,” said Asaba.