The Foreign Ministry has opened a new English link on its homepage dedicated to the Dokdo Islets in response to Japan's continued territorial claim to the area.
The link created Friday can be found in the Media Center section. It’s titled "Dokdo, the First Victim of Japan’s Aggression Against the Korean Peninsula."
In the document, the Seoul government made it clear that Japan seized power to control Korea in 1904 when it forced Korea to sign the Korea-Japan Treaty of 1904 and the Korea-Japan Protocol of August 1904.
It said that in the following year, the Shimane Prefectural Government alleged that it had incorporated Dokdo into its jurisdiction.
It continued to say that now with the Japanese government persistently making claims over Dokdo, Korea is worried that Japan could go down the same path of aggression once again.
The Foreign Ministry also posted to the page six dissertations that came from the website of the Northeast Asian History Foundation's Dokdo Research Institute.
Earlier on Friday, a Japanese official announced that an English portal about the islets has opened on the Cabinet Secretariat's homepage.
Japan’s ruling camp is seeking to set up facilities for its Self-defense Forces (SDF) and the Japan Coast Guard on the Oki Islands located near South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo.
Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun said Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) created a special bill that seeks to designate islands deeply related to national security and maritime order as specific remote islands. State agencies will be established on such islands located near Japan’s borders with South Korea and China.
The Yomiuri Shimbun said the LDP plans to designate around ten populated islands as such. The daily said other than the Oki Islands, the LDP is likely to designate Tsushima Island where South Korean businesses own some real estate.
The report added that the LDP also plans to include Yonaguni Island in the list. The island is located 150 kilometers from the Senkaku Islands, which have been a source of conflict between Japan and China.
A bill requiring all textbooks for public schools in Virginia to label the waters between Korea and Japan as both “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” was put into effect on Tuesday.
By law, the U.S. state of Virginia and the education departments in all of Virginia’s counties can only select textbooks that have both labels.
As Virginia selects new textbooks every seven years, the state government will deliberate in 2016 for books to be used from 2017.
The Voice of Korean Americans, a Korean-American association that pushed for the passage of the bill, said the date for the use of both labels is likely to come sooner than 2017. It noted that most textbook publishing companies have already started printing both labels.
The new law is expected to affect all of the United States as the same social studies textbooks are generally found throughout the country and large publishing firms do not print textbooks only for certain regions.
A U.S. geography expert says the usage of the “East Sea” label for the sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula should be approached with the aim of achieving social justice.
Western Michigan University Professor Joseph Stoltman made the remark during a seminar held at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on Thursday. Stoltman said the usage of the “East Sea” label must be explained in connection with Japan’s occupation of Korea.
Stoltman said a growing number of American teachers will come to ask publishing companies why the waters between Korea and Japan are not jointly labeled as the East Sea and Sea of Japan. Such questions, he said, will contribute to efforts to legalize the usage of joint labels.
Kyung Hee University Geography Professor Choo Sung-jae, who also attended the seminar, said some experts have suggested that new names be made for waters where countries are at odds over labels or to divide the waters and have the countries call the names they want. However, Choo said usage of joint labels is the most feasible alternative.
South Korea has strongly protested against a Japanese rally attended by high-level government officials that renewed Japan's territorial claim on Korea's Dokdo islets.
The foreign ministry said Thursday that Japan's nationalistic politicians again held a public rally, following a similar one in 2012, and are continuing to make groundless claims about Korean territory. The ministry said Japan must immediately stop making such absurd claims.
In its spokesperson's statement, the ministry said Dokdo is the first victim of Japanese imperialism which pillaged the Korean peninsula. The statement continued, saying that although Japan speaks of apologizing for its past aggression and contributing to international peace, no one in the international community would believe in its sincerity if it continues provocations against Dokdo.
The foreign ministry plans to summon Hisashi Michigami, a senior minister of the Japanese mission in Korea, Thursday afternoon to convey Seoul's position.
The rally was held in Tokyo Thursday morning, and those in attendance demanded a swift resolution of "the issue of Takeshima." Takeshima is what the islets are called in Japanese.
Masazumi Gotoda, the senior vice minister of Japan's Cabinet Office, attended the rally.
The Foreign Ministry has set up a mobile version of its Web site for the nation's easternmost islets of Dokdo.
A government official said Wednesday that the mobile site was established as the readability on mobile phones was found to be poor for the existing Dokdo Web site.
The mobile site states the South Korean government’s basic position that Dokdo is South Korea’s territory based on history, geography and international laws.
The site can be accessed in English, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish and also features a promotional video of Dokdo in the four languages.
The Foreign Ministry soon plans to provide French and Arabic services to the site.
A South Korean non-governmental organization has opened a Web site to shed light on Japan’s attempt to distort history.
The Voluntary Agency Network for Korea, or VANK, said it created the English Web site to help foreigners correctly understand Japan’s imperialistic past. It hopes to draw attention to Japan’s denial of wrongdoings, such as wartime sex slavery during World War Two.
The Web site says the Dokdo issue is not a territorial dispute and wartime sex slavery is not a subject of political debate between the two countries.
It stresses the two issues are related to war crimes committed by Imperial Japan. It also says the issues are not just regional but universal and require joint efforts by the international community to be resolved.
KBS World Radio has opened a special website featuring Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.
Through the special Web site, the eleven-language broadcaster plans to inform its international audiences about South Korea's sovereignty over the territory.
The site offers basic information on Dokdo along with pictures, video clips and historical evidence proving South Korea's ownership of the islets in the East Sea.
The website can be found at world.kbs.co.kr/dokdo/
Kyodo News reports Japanese prosecutors have said they do not hold the power to punish South Koreans visiting the islets of Dokdo, as South Korea has effective control over the territory.
The news agency said the public prosecutor's office in Matsue located in Shimane Prefecture made the decision after a political activist group accused South Korean politicians of illegally entering Dokdo. The prosecutor's office ended the case with a non-indictment.
The case was filed after a group of South Korean lawmakers, including incumbent leader of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy Kim Han-gil, visited Dokdo in August last year.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said the Dokdo islets are subject to the mutual defense agreement between South Korea and the U.S.
In a briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Cho Tai-young said Dokdo is South Korea’s territory and under its administrative control as stipulated in the South Korea-U.S. Mutual Defense Agreement.
His remarks indicate South Korea and the U.S. would jointly react to a foreign military attack on the islets.
Cho’s comments follow U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Japan where he said the disputed Senkaku Islands are under Japan’s administrative control and covered by the mutual defense agreement between Washington and Tokyo.