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Korean media outlet urges new envoy to Japan to emulate Ambassador Emanuel

The Japanese edition of the South Korean daily JoongAng took up President Yoon’s appointment of former Director of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy Yun Duk-min as his top representative in Japan, expressing hope that the ambassador-designate will capitalize on his rich expertise in Japan to improve the ROK’s soured ties with Tokyo. The outlet noted that the incumbent Ambassador Kang Chang-il has not been able to meet with either the Japanese prime minister or foreign minister since his arrival in Tokyo in January 2021. The paper called for Yun to hold communications with Japanese politicians critical of South Korea and proactively reach out to the Japanese public so they will understand Seoul’s ideas and positions on bilateral issues. It stressed that in order to sway public opinion, the incoming envoy should emulate U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, who has made deft use of his official Twitter account to disseminate messages not only on policy priorities but also on soft topics. It cited the following tweets by the Ambassador: “First trip to Yokohama…. as always, right on time. Sasuga!” “Love the really plush seats! Hankyu. Hankyu very much,” and “Koshien is truly a Field of Dreams!… Incredible baseball fans here in Osaka!” The outlet pointed out that Ambassador Emanuel has been tweeting almost daily and has collected almost 100,000 followers. Explaining that the Ambassador’s messages have been cited more often by netizens than by the traditional policy establishment, JoongAng underscored that Yun should be able to use the same approach to public diplomacy.

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