[Letters] Japan should approach Dokdo issue rationallyAs the Korea JoongAng Daily has reported on a series of stories and editorials, all of the territorial disputes over Dokdo primarily stem from the Japanese government’s outrageous greed in claiming the easternmost islets in the East Sea. Dokdo belongs to Korea not only historically but in terms of international law, as Yuji Hosaka, a professor at Sejong University and an unrivaled expert on the issue, said in a television debate last week.
A naturalized Korean citizen, he argued that Japan seeks to claim Dokdo because there is nothing to lose on Japan’s part as the islets were not Japanese territory in the first place. By threatening to bring the case to the International Court of Justice, however, Japan can draw world attention to the spot and publicly turn it into a disputed territory.
Now embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has reportedly ordered his cabinet members to draw up countermeasures against President Lee Myung-bak’s determination to resist budging an inch on the issue. Tokyo appears to heading toward a dead end in bilateral relations between the two countries, having vowed that it may consider a reduction in currency swaps as well as a veto of Korea becoming a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as retaliation.
No matter how pressing a domestic need there may be for a stern position on external issues, Noda must regain his composure and approach the matter rationally if he wants to prove he is a statesman and not a politician.
by Kim Jong-seok, a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
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