The spade began on December 20 after a meeting between a Japanese plane that Tokyo said it was gathering information and a South Korean destroyer that Seoul said was on a humanitarian mission.
Both sides disagree on what would happen next – The Japanese said the South Koreans attacked their planes with a missile defense radar, while the South Koreans said that the Japanese plane was flying dangerously low and that the radar was "not intended was to pursue a plane controlled by Japan ".
The disagreement has taken place rapidly escalating, bringing historical conflicts to the fore and thus threatening the stability of the region.
"East Asian geopolitics has been shaken and is now unexplained," said the former Van Jackson Defense Department officer specializing in the Asia-Pacific region.
"China tries to oust the US, North Korea has taken a Jiujitsu step by using summit diplomacy to consolidate its nuclear status. Although the alleged purpose is to denuclearize Pyongyang, the future of the US is in less safe in the region today than it has been since the 1970s.
"In the midst of this turmoil, oppressed hostilities erupted through stability in the region.
A Marriage of Purpose
South Korea and Japan are historical opponents trapped in a marriage of expediency, resulting in a complex partnership, and their relationship is still strong through the legacy of Imperial Japanese occupation and colonization
This revived tension comes at a dreadful time for the United States – the Trump government is currently preparing for the second summit with North Korea, while approaching an important deadline for Trade talks with China.
Shortly after the first incident, Japan and South Korea held working meetings to try to solve the problem behind closed doors.
It does not seem to have worked – and neither side buys the explanation of the others.
Japan released a video of the incident on December 28th his perspective. South Korea released its own video on January 4th. Everyone accuses the other of misleading the public and distorting the facts.
Japan made three more flyovers over South Korean ships this month – one last week, one on Tuesday and one Wednesday. Seoul publicly condemned the recent one as a "clearly provocative act" against a "partner country".