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The Latest on Japanese Territorial Claim Conflicts

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You may remember that debates surrounding the Dokdo islands are paramount in the South Korean-Japanese conflicts.

One’s mind drifts back to a poster on which Korean patriotic NGOs went to the Japanese embassy after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. A sympathetic message supporting victims of the tragedy was written in bold letters, but below in small print it said “But Dokdo is still ours.” And although the islands are now under tight ROK control (since 1954, South Korea has deployed a small police detachment to Dokdo), any attempts by Japan to challenge this cause diplomatic reprimands.

On March 24, 2020, the Japanese government approved 17 textbooks on history, social studies and geography for secondary schools, which “more clearly define Tokyo’s territorial claims over the South Korean Dokdo islands.” To be fair, the textbooks also contain similar descriptions of the Kuril Islands and the Senkaku Islands, which are at the center of territorial disputes with Russia and China, respectively.

These textbooks also indicate that the problem of victims of forced labor mobilization during World War II has already been resolved within the framework of the basic agreement on relations between Japan and Korea of 1965, and only two textbooks mention the problem of “comfort women.”

In this regard, on March 24, Japanese Ambassador Koji Tomita was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, where he was protesting about this situation and called on Tokyo to correct the content of textbooks, stressing that the Japanese side distorts, underestimates and omits specific historical facts.

On May 19, 2020, Hirohisa Soma, Senior Counselor-Envoy of the........

© New Eastern Outlook

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