Dokdo is ours

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Dokdo is ours

The Japanese government yesterday announced that ownership of the Dokdo Islets would be mentioned in a teaching guide for social studies at junior high schools.

Despite Korea’s repeated warnings, the Japanese government has decided to state a false claim that the islands, known as Takeshima in Japan, are part of Japan’s territory.

Claiming that Dokdo is Japan’s territory is one thing; teaching it to teenagers is another. The latter is tantamount to encouraging young people to dispute the ownership of Korea’s territory in the future when they grow up.

The document, which was authored by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, doesn’t say directly that Dokdo belongs to Japan.

The booklet states that Japan’s Four Northern Islands are illegally occupied by Russia and then makes an indirect comparison with Dokdo, stating that a deeper understanding about “Takeshima” is needed with Korea.

Japan says the section about Dokdo in the document was stated in an indirect way because it respects Korea’s stance. But this is nothing but a word game.

The part “as the case about the Northern Four Islands” indicates that Japan maintains Dokdo is also Japan’s territory and is illegally occupied by Korea.

If Japan had genuinely apologized for invading and colonizing its neighbors, the government would have refrained from mentioning Dokdo in its education guidebook.

This is why many maintain that Japan wears a smile on its face but will betray you behind your back, and that Japan is not qualified to become a leader in the region or on the international stage.

The Korean government inevitably decided to respond to the issue with all its energy, recalling Korea’s ambassador to Japan.

Japan’s provocation is technically the same as a declaration of war for sovereignty over our territory. Dokdo is Korea’s territory, according to history, international law and geography.

In any case, Korea effectively governs the islets.

Some point out that if we respond too vigorously, as if firing cannons while Japan fires rifles, we can be fooled by Japan’s diplomatic attempt to make the islets a disputed area.

The Korean government needs to respond with determination but it should stay calm so that exchanges and cooperation in the private sector, such as economy and culture, are not disrupted.

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