President mulls ‘effective control’ of Dokdo
The decades-long territorial dispute was reignited earlier this week after the Japanese government approved elementary school social studies textbooks that describe Dokdo as Japanese territory.
In his meeting with President Lee, Grand National Party Chairman Chung Mong-joon urged the administration to take more aggressive steps to counter Tokyo’s claim. “President Lee stressed that the government should seriously review this matter and consult about it,” said GNP spokeswoman Chung Mee-hyung.
“What the Grand National Party has proposed to bolster the effective control over Dokdo will be seriously reviewed,” said a Blue House official.
The ruling party criticized the administration’s so-called “quiet Dokdo diplomacy.”
“If necessary, our ambassador should be summoned back home, and the Japanese ambassador to Korea should be sent home,” said Representative Kim Sejong-jo, the chief policy maker of the Grand National Party, on Thursday.
Shortly after Japan’s newest move on Tuesday, Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan summoned Japan’s top envoy to Seoul, Toshinori Shigeie, to register an official complaint.
The ruling party has also proposed to relocate residents to Dokdo and encourage tourist visits. The Korean military should also be stationed there, the party said.
A guard unit of 40 police troops, dispatched from the North Gyeongsang Police Agency, is stationed on the islands. Six lighthouse keepers also work in the Dokdo Lighthouse, established in 1954.
The National Assembly approved yesterday a resolution to condemn Japan’s latest claim. Lawmakers demanded through the resolution that the Japanese government withdraw its authorization of the controversial textbooks. They also warned that Tokyo’s continuous claim will seriously hinder friendship between Korea and Japan.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan’s forcible annexation of Korea,” the resolution said. “Instead of repenting and apologizing for its military past and seeking a historic advancement for a future-oriented Korea-Japan relation, Japan is concentrating on reactionary actions by distorting history and concealing the truth.”
Meanwhile, the Dokdo Institute at Yeungnam University in Daegu released Thursday a Japanese government map more than a century old, which marked Dokdo as Korean territory. The map was created in 1903 by the Japanese ministry of land and maritime survey.
By Ser Myo-ja [email@example.com]
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