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Japanese Cabinet Lays Claim to Dokdo

Posted October. 04, 2008 09:34,   


The Japanese Cabinet yesterday defended a new handbook for middle school education that claims the Dokdo islets as Japanese territory.

The Cabinet in a meeting presented a document saying, “The description on the handbook makes it clear that Takeshima (the Japanese name for Dokdo) is Japan’s sovereign territory, as is the northern territory of the Kuril Islands.

The document was drawn up to answer a question posed by a member of the Lower House on whether the islets belong to Japan or Korea.

Tokyo said through the document, “On the northern territory, the handbook gives a more detailed description to the effect that it is now illegally occupied by Russia. The manner of description of Takeshima is no different from that of the northern territory.”

“The Kuril Islands and Takeshima are the only unresolved issues in territorial sovereignty.”

The Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun said before the meeting, “The Education Ministry avoided direct expressions in the handbook considering South Korea. If Japan once again lays claim to Takeshima in the meeting, it will provoke South Korea.”

The daily also quoted the Japanese Education Ministry as saying, “The situation and our perception did not change but we couldn’t find different answers when asked about the government’s stance.”