Japan and South Korea in another spat over Takeshima / Dokdo
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
Japan and South Korea continue to argue over the ownership of small islands called Takeshima Islands in Japan – and Dokdo Islands in South Korea. Accordingly, Governor Maruyama Tatsuya of Shimane Prefecture demands that the Japanese government should challenge South Korea’s “occupation.”
Naturally, from the view of South Korea, these small islands called Dokdo Islands are an integral part of South Korea. The delicate situation is magnified for the people of South Korea because of Japan’s historical legacy after invading the Korean Peninsula.
The Governor of Shimane held the annual celebration of Takeshima Day when this disputed area came under the jurisdiction of this prefecture over one hundred years ago.
NHK reports, “The governor expressed deep regret over recent developments in South Korea, such as government officials and parliamentarians setting foot on Takeshima and maritime surveys and defense drills in waters around the islands.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “The Foreign Ministry of South Korea notified Japan that South Korea protested strongly about Japan’s ongoing claim to Dokdo. This comes at a time of heightened tensions in Northeast Asia (China, North Korea, the Russian Federation, and Taiwan) with America’s containment policies aimed at China – and America’s role in the war in Ukraine and the indigenous Russian regions of Donbass (Donbas) and the surrounding environs.”
Japan and South Korea need to solve the issue amicably – or by arbitration whereby both nations agree to the final statement of an international body that deals with areas of dispute.
Ironically, the nations of America, Japan, and South Korea are holding trilateral military exercises aimed at solidarity against North Korea. These exercises also took place not so far from Dokdo (Takeshima).
The Korea Herald reports, “South Korea, the United States and Japan staged a ballistic missile defense exercise on Wednesday in international waters to enhance military interoperability and readiness against escalating threats from North Korea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.”
South Korea said the trilateral exercises were held in international waters. However, America and Japan said the military drills took place in the Sea of Japan.
National Geographic reports, “In the middle of the Sea of Japan, almost equidistant between Japan and Korea, jut two seemingly inconsequential craggy islets. They are no larger than Grand Central Terminal and yet the Liancourt Rocks—or Dokdo Islands or Takeshima Islands depending on who is asking—are at the center of a diplomatic dispute between the two countries that goes back more than 300 years.”
North Korea also claims the disputed Takeshima / Dokdo region.
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