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[Editorial] “Takeshima Day” Is Invalid

Posted March. 16, 2005 22:22,   


Shimane Prefecture’s legislature of Japan finally approved a bill to designate “Takeshima (the Japanese name for Dokdo) Day.” This is a betrayal to the people and government of Korea, who have tried to create a future-oriented bilateral relationship with Japan, despite turns and twists for four decades after the normalization of diplomatic relations. It is an outrageous and deplorable move.

As the Korean government clearly stated in the protest statement, Japan cannot change the status of Dokdo as Korea’s own territory historically, geographically, and substantially by unilaterally designating a “Takeshima Day.” Above all, we Koreans strongly urge the Shimane Prefecture government come to its senses and immediately scrap the bill that only moves the bilateral relationship closer to collapse.

We also urge the Japanese government to show a sincere and serious attitude to settle the issue, albeit belatedly. Its tacit approval of the declaration of “Takeshima Day,” in line with its invasion of Korea a century ago, while talking about “Korea-Japan friendship,” would never be backed by the international community. Japan should know that if the country still seeks to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the world will not side with such an expansionist country.

The Korean government made it clear that it would firmly respond to any attempt by Japan to claim territorial rights over the islets and that all the responsibility for future problems over the issue lies with Japan. In addition, it also decided to allow the Korean public to freely visit Dokdo to ensure that the islets are Korean territory, which is near Korean people. It is the right step to declare that sovereignty and territory are not something to make concessions of or negotiate at home and abroad.

The Korean government should cope with this issue clearly, cleverly and constantly. In this regard, its countermeasures can be called a “ Three-C policy.” As a follow-up measure to make it “clear” that the Dokdo issue is a sovereignty issue, the government and political parties, scholars, and civic groups should make a concerted effort to find “clever” ways to logically and effectively persuade Japan and the international community. Furthermore, it should “constantly” implement effective countermeasures with the support of the public.