[EDITORIALS]An invasion of KoreaThe fact that a Japanese right-wing activist group left Japan by boat yesterday in order to claim the Tokto islet is an outrageous act of invading a country’s sovereignty. There have been times when Japanese leaders such as the prime minister have made absurd political remarks on the historical relations of the two countries. But never has anyone committed such a ruthless provocation as this one.
The recent blind act is an indicator of how the Japanese society has swung generally to the right. The recent indiscreet behavior of Junichiro Koizumi, Japan’s prime minister, seems to have acted as a catalyst in recent affairs surrounding Tokto. At the beginning of the year, he started to make speeches that sounded as if he did not consider the position of the countries surrounding Japan at all. Despite a request by Korea and China, the Japanese prime minister visited the Yasukuni Shrine, where a number of World War II criminals are honored. He also said that the island was Japanese territory and that Korea should act carefully, throwing more fuel on the fire. Because the leader of Japan engages in reckless and thoughtless behavior, it is no wonder that we are now seeing people trying to land on the island.
We don’t know yet whether this group will actually try to land on the island. But what we do know is their motive. They are trying to depict Tokto as an island under international dispute to the international community, when in fact it is clearly part of Korea. They have to know that nothing will change the historical fact and the current situation that Tokto is truly ours.
The people of Korea must be firm facing these rash actions. But we have to remember that overreacting will only play into our opponents’ hands. This group has postponed its departure and succeeded in attracting the attention of the media. In order to defuse their hidden intention to create a fuss, we have to watch them silently and then arrest them the moment they enter our waters.
What is more important is that the incident should not spark a bigger dispute between Korea and Japan. For that, the Japanese government must stop their landing. If it becomes a reality, what would happen to the relationship between the two countries? Japan must act wisely.