US urges calm in China-Japan and Japan-Korea islands disputes, but won’t serve as mediator

September 28, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Dokdo 

The Obama administration on Friday pressed U.S. allies Japan and South Korea to continue their cooperation on North Korea and other key issues, despite a dispute over a contested islet, and also urged Tokyo and Beijing to make serious diplomatic efforts on an even sharper dispute over maritime borders.

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Korea refutes Japanese PM’s remarks on wartime sexual slavery

Japan should resolve a long-standing grievance regarding Korean women forced to serve as sex slaves during World War II through a sincere apology and compensation, a senior Seoul official said Monday, refuting published remarks on the matter by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

The issue of Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women for its front-line soldiers is one of the most emotional and unresolved issues between South Korea and Japan.

Korea has pressed Japan to resolve the issue through an apology and compensation for the aging Korean women on a humanitarian level, but Tokyo refuses to do so, saying the matter was already settled by a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries

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No change in Korea’s stand on Dokdo

August 18, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Dokdo 

Korea received a letter Japan’s prime minister wrote to President Lee Myung-bak about recent tensions over Lee’s visit to the easternmost South Korean islets of Dokdo, but there is no change in the country’s position on the matter, officials said.

Japanese media reported Friday that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sent the letter to Lee via Seoul’s Embassy in Tokyo, describing as regrettable Lee’s Aug. 14 visit to Dokdo and his remarks that Japan’s KIng Akihito should apologize for Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule if he wishes to visit Korea.

Noda also proposed in the letter that Japan and Korea jointly take the Dokdo issue to the International Court of Justice, reports said.

Officials at Seoul’s presidential office said the embassy received the letter.

“In line with diplomatic practice, we can’t say specifically what’s in there, but there isn’t anything new in it,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

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South Korean president turns up Japan heat: Emperor must apologize

August 15, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Comfort Women, Dokdo, Prison Camp, War Crimes 

SEOUL–Amid a flare-up in nationalistic anti-Japan rhetoric, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has fueled it further with a demand for an apology by Emperor Akihito.

Lee said Akihito would be unwelcome in South Korea without a direct acknowledgment of guilt for Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. Akihito acceded to the throne in 1989.

“Although (the emperor) wants to visit South Korea, I have told Japan he can only do so if he visits (the graves of) those who died in independence movements (against Japan) and apologizes to them from his heart,” Lee said Aug. 14, addressing a seminar for teachers in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong province.

It was the first time an incumbent South Korean president had publicly demanded such an apology.

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South Korea-Japan Tensions Heat Up

SEOUL—South Korea President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday directed more criticism at Japan and suggested conditions for a hypothetical visit by the Japanese emperor on the eve of the annual commemoration of Korean independence from its former occupier.

The new remarks came just a few days after Mr. Lee angered Tokyo by visiting the Liancourt Rocks, a set of islets South Korea has controlled since the 1950s but that Japan also claims, and just before the August 15 celebration of liberation from Japan at the end of World War II.

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South Korean leader visits contested islands

August 12, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Dokdo 

South Korea’s president made a controversial visit to disputed Sea of Japan islands in a trip that would increase tensions with Japan.

Lee Myung-bak was making the first-ever visit by a South Korean president to the rocky volcanic outcrops in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), roughly midway between South Korea and its former colonial ruler Japan. Disregarding Tokyo’s warnings that the visit would strain already prickly relations, Lee toured the main island and shook hands with coastguards as a South Korean flag fluttered in the breeze.

“Dokdo is indeed our territory and a place worth staking our lives to defend. Let’s make sure to safeguard it with pride,” pool reports quoted him as saying.

TV footage showed him posing for a photo in front of a rock painted with the slogan “ROK (South Korean) territory”.

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Yomiuri Shimbun:

Lee’s visit to Takeshima threatens Japan-S. Korea ties

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak went ahead with a visit to the Takeshima islands in the Sea of Japan on Friday. The islets are part of Japan’s sovereign territory but illegally occupied by South Korea.

If a head of state visits an area of land whose sovereignty is also claimed by another country, the act can be considered provocative, as it blatantly disregards the other nation. It is inevitable that Lee’s visit will erode the trust Japan and South Korea have built until now and cool bilateral relations.

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Comments from NK News (24 Feb. 2012)

Update (14 August 2012): Comfort Women issue reason for LMB’s visit to Dokdo (Video)

South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak to visit disputed islands (Dokdo)

August 10, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Dokdo 

South Korea’s president is expected to visit islands also claimed by Japan, in a move set to raise diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

Lee Myung-bak’s spokeswoman said the president would, weather permitting, fly by helicopter to the islands.

Japan’s foreign minister has urged him to call off the visit, saying it would impact on ties.

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Update (12 August 2012): South Korean leader visits contested islands (Photo + Videos)

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