Korea fumes over Japan’s latest Dokdo claimKorea yesterday reacted angrily to the latest Japanese territorial claim to Dokdo, once again bringing the disputed set of islets off the east coast to the center of Korea-Japan relations.
Japan yesterday unveiled its latest Diplomatic Blue Paper and it states that Dokdo is Japanese territory.
According to the Korean translation of a section provided by the Foreign Ministry here, the paper reads: “Despite territorial disputes surrounding Dokdo between Korea and Japan, it is the consistent stance of the Japanese government that Dokdo is clearly Japanese territory, both in terms of historical facts and international law.”
The paper also states that Japan continues to produce materials to inform the rest of the world of Japanese ownership of Dokdo and will continue to make diplomatic efforts to reach a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
In response, Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun said the latest Japanese argument was “extremely regrettable.”
“We are very disappointed, considering the expectations of many sensible people of both countries who want to open a new 100 years of bilateral relations as we mark the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of Korea,” Kim said in a statement.
Blue House spokesman Park Sun-kyoo echoed the sentiment.
“Let me make this clear: We will make absolutely no compromise on territorial issues,” Park said in a press briefing yesterday.
“If Japan continues to make arguments based on wrong historical grounds, that will have adverse effects on Korea-Japan relations and also on the future of Japan itself.”
The Foreign Ministry in Seoul yesterday summoned Reiichiro Takahashi, the deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to register an official complaint. A ministry official said that in the past, lower-level Japanese diplomats had been summoned over Dokdo claims in the diplomatic papers.
Only last week, Japan approved elementary school textbooks that depict Dokdo as Japanese territory, and Korean President Lee Myung-bak expressed his intention to strengthen “effective control” of Dokdo.
Japan first published its diplomatic papers in 1963. According to a Foreign Ministry official here, the paper has included Dokdo claims in all but 14 years since then.
By Yoo Jee-ho [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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