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Korean Government Asks Japan to Give Up Claim On Dokdo

Posted April. 06, 2005 23:23,   


The Korean government posed a doubt on April 6 that the description of the Dokdo issue in Japanese history textbooks was made worse after the intervention of the Japanese government, and strongly asked the Japanese government to immediately give up its claim on Dokdo in its history textbooks.

In the afternoon of that day, the vice minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Lee Tae-sik, summoned Toshiyuki Takano, the Japanese ambassador to the Republic of Korea, to the Foreign Ministry, saying, “The Korean government cannot tolerate the fact that some civic textbooks approved by the Japanese government contain the phrase: ‘South Korea has illegally occupied Dokdo,’ adding that it seems that the contents of authorization-application textbooks had been changed in the screening process thanks to the role and participation of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

In addition, Vice Minister Lee asked, “The Japanese government has to immediately eliminate its description of dominion over Dokdo from its history textbooks,” and stressed, “The Korean government will not allow Japanese provocative activities aimed at undermining its sovereignty over Dokdo, and will strictly counter them.”

It was revealed that the Japanese government had directed the textbook publisher, Fusosha Publishing, Inc., to replace the caption: “Takeshima (the Japanese name for Dokdo), a troubled area between South Korea and Japan,” with “Takeshima, an islet that South Korea has occupied illegally.”

A Fusosha spokesperson said, “Once this was pointed out, we could not help rectifying the description in our history textbooks,” adding, “We had went several times [to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology] with our original draft, and the final version of our textbooks that passed inspection reflected the government’s opinion.”

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com