The geopolitical destiny of Korea as a peninsular state was always subject to the vortex of two contending powers, China and Japan. Whereas China had a rather pacified relationship with Korea through its tributary system, Japan’s regional ambition since the late nineteenth century severely undermined Korea’s domestic and international standing. Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910 and Korea’s unwanted entanglement in the Pacific War were unfortunate results of Japan’s rampant imperial expansionism in the region. Japanese regional moves, benign or malign, critically influenced the shaping of Korea’s geopolitical and economic outlook.