South Korea Protests Japan Claims on Dokdo

The South Korean Government protested Japan’s claims on the Dokdo Islands, a long-disputed group of islets between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.

South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Spokesperson Choi Young-sam released a statement in protest of Japan’s claims on the Dokdo Islands in its annual defense paper.

“The Government of the Republic of Korea strongly protests against the Japanese government’s repeated inclusion of unjust sovereignty claims over Dokdo, which is clearly an integral part of the ROK territory in terms of history, geography, and international law,” said Choi.

Choi’s statement was released soon after Nobuo Kishi, the defense minister of Japan, presented this year’s defense document to the cabinet in Tokyo, which was chaired by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The paper on the state of the nation’s security and its responses saw Tokyo assert its sovereignty over Dokdo for the 18th year running.

The publication of the paper came mere days after South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin met with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo.

The Dokdo Islands, Takashima Islands, or Liancourt Rocks have been disputed by South Korea and Japan for 300 years.

According to National Geographic, the Dokdo Islands were acknowledged by Japan as Korean territory in 1696 as a result of a dispute between Japanese and Korean fishermen. However, Japan claimed ownership of the islands after Japan seized control of then-united Korea in 1905, which marked a 35-year occupation that lasted until 1945.

Choi asserted that Japan’s “unjust claims” on Dokdo are not conducive to a “future-oriented” relationship between South Korea and Japan.

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