The year 2005 marked the 40 year anniversary of South Korean-Japanese relations and was declared South Korea-Japan Friendship Year. Unfortunately, the year was very unfriendly because the Dokdo/Takeshima, textbook and Yasukuni Shrine issues became hot topics because of various events, and the problems escalated into a diplomatic standoff in 2006. Relations were very strained during the Roh/Koizumi administrations, but there is renewed hope for better relations now that new leadership has emerged in both countries. While PM Koizumi made annual visits to Yasukuni during his tenure, PM Fukuda promised to end visits to Yasukuni Shrine in 2006. According to this article, both leaders are committed so securing better relations and resuming efforts to establish an FTA. We'll see what happens.