I’ll give 2 examples that have nothing to do with the bilateral relationship between the 2.
When the 2 middle school girls were crushed by the tank in 2002, Korea went batshit in an orgy of hate for months on end. Apology after apology was demanded then when received only caused outrage and more demands. It was that way all the way around.
For Japan, a US sub pops up under a educational fishing vessel and sinks it killing more Japansese students and citizens—
—-and Japan did not come close to getting within the same time zone of outrage as Korea in 2002.
In fact, when the families came to Hawaii with the press and others, THEY apologized to their Hawaiian/American hosts —- because they were afraid of having been offensive to them in their grief!!!
Talk about night and day….usinKorea
It may be a lot harder for many Koreans to “not make xyz into a bigger issue” because it was their parents and grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc., who were killed, tortured, raped, shot at, had their property stolen by Japanese citizens and authorities in Korea. For the average Japanese, this is not the case at all.