South Korea has again called on Japan to take down a video posted on YouTube and other Japanese government websites that supports the country’s claim on the now controversial pair of islets between the two countries. The video, which runs for 87 seconds, asserts Japan’s ownership of the islets called Takeshima (Dokdo in South Korea) since the 17th century.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Northeast Asian Department director Park Joon-yong protested to the Japanese embassy deputy chief in Seoul, Takashi Kurai, on Wednesday about the video which has now been posted in 10 languages – Korean, Chinese, Arabic, French, English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, reiterating their request from last month to have it taken down. Last October, they already demanded that the video “be deleted immediately” as it contains “baseless territorial claims.” Japan has been going online and the social media route to air its side over the territorial dispute as part of a PR campaign to get international support and understanding. They launched an English-language site last month that states its position of sovereignty over both Takeshima and also the Senkaku islands, which has locked them in a dispute with China over what they call the Diaoyus.
Their claim of ownership for the islets is taken by South Korea as a revival of past military ambitions which started in 1905 when the country nullified Korea’s diplomatic sovereignty and resulted to the take over of the Korean Peninsula in 1910. The issue of Dokdo has been a very big hindrance in creating an amicable relationship between Japan and South Korea. Japan’s unapologetic stance on the issue of Korean “comfort women” and other atrocities committed during the Second World War also adds to the already strained relationship between the two East Asian countries.
[via Yonhap News]