Seoul’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young is strongly urging the Tokyo government to cancel an event they are planning to hold to promote and celebrate Japan’s territorial hold on the Takeshima Islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea.
According to several media reports, the event to be hosted by Shimane Prefecture might have Aiko Shimajiri, a vice-ministerial official and a member of the upper house of parliament and 18 other government officials as special guests, including Hiroyuki Hosoda, executive acting secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Shinjiro Koizumi, director of the LDP‘s Youth Division. February 22 was declared as a day to promote Takeshima since 2006 and it has always been celebrated with various programs to strengthen Japan’s territorial claims over the disputed islands. But Tokyo has never sent any government official from the top three posts in a government ministry or agency to attend the ceremony.
“The hosting of such an unjustifiable event attended by government figures equals going against history. I urge Japan to face history and come forward,” Cho said. He also urged Japan to “reflect upon its wrongdoings” and start coming up with actions to rectify its past behavior. Tensions between the two countries have risen in the past few months, ever since then President Lee Myung-bak visited the islands last August, the first time for a president. Japan protested the action and started being vocal once again about their claim to the islands. South Korea has a small police detachment on the islets, which puts them effectively under their control.[ via Yonhap News ]