South Korea Table of Contents
The Chun government also brought about a significant change in South Korea's relations with Japan. In 1981 Chun utilized the United States' support and its strategy of allocating greater responsibility to Japan in the East Asian region to persuade Tokyo to grant Seoul a large public loan. The negotiations lasted until early 1983 and aroused many conflicting emotions in both countries. However, Chun was able to obtain a US$4 billion low-interest loan that significantly contributed to boosting South Korea's credit rating and to accelerating its economic recovery; Seoul's foreign debt had reached US$41 billion at the end of 1983 and was badly in need of an improved credit rating. Japanese prime minister Nakasone Yasuhiro capped the negotiation process by paying a state visit to Seoul in January 1983. While other Japanese prime ministers had visited Seoul for inaugurations or funerals, this was the first state visit to South Korea by a Japanese leader since the country was liberated from Japan in 1945.
Data as of June 1990