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Japan’s Response on an Issue of “Dok-do Stamp”

Posted January. 09, 2004 23:13,   


The chief of the general affairs department for Japan, Aso Daro, stirred up Japanese society by suggesting issuing its own “Dok-do stamp” against Korea in a cabinet meeting on January 9.

Such a stir seems to spread as some call on the rejection on mails stamped with Korean “Dok-do stamp,” a stamp commemorating the controversial island located in the farthest eastern sea of Korea.

In 1954, the Korean Ministry of Communications issued a stamp with the background of the island’s scenery, and the Japanese government also voted for returning Korean mails with these stamps.

Mr. Aso said in the meeting, “Against the ‘Dok-do stamp’ issue by Korea, I would like to suggest an issuing of a similar stamp by the Japanese Postal Service Cooperation even though it is a very political subject.”

He once made a reckless remark just ahead of President Roh Moo-hyun’s visit to Japan as a national guest in June of last year that Imperialist Japan’s coercion of Koreans to change their surnames was actually voluntarily carried out by Koreans themselves.

Mr. Aso also insisted in a press conference after the meeting that “This stamp issuing by Korea is out of accord with the spirit of the Universal Postal Union (IPU) Charter.”

He continued, “When the Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko returns from his tour abroad, we will discuss the matter of issuing the Japanese ‘Dok-do stamp.’”

Japan has claimed Dok-do since it named the island Dakesima, meaning an island of bamboos, on January 28, 1905 and has marked it as its territory on all types of maps.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com