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Japan repeats Dokdo claim in diplomatic blue book, school textbooks

Japan repeats Dokdo claim in diplomatic blue book, school textbooks

Posted April. 02, 2015 07:18,   


Diplomatic tensions are rising as Japan is said to have maintained in its diplomatic blue book the territorial claim over South Korea`s easternmost islets of Dokdo, which Japan calls Takeshima.

Japan`s Kyodo News Agency reported Wednesday the Japanese foreign ministry`s draft of its 2015 diplomatic blue book states that Dokdo is Japanese territory "both in terms of historical facts and international law." This year would be the eighth consecutive year of Tokyo including its Dokdo claim in its diplomatic blue book. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s Cabinet plans to pass a decision on the document at a meeting scheduled for this Saturday.

The draft also defines South Korea simply as "one of the most important neighbors," a significant retreat from last year`s description its relationship with Seoul as "sharing fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, respect for basic human rights, common interests in maintaining regional peace and security."

A day before the Cabinet meeting, Japan also plans to announce the result of its review of middle school textbooks including Tokyo`s claim that South Korea "illegally occupies Takeshima."

According to sources in Japan`s education community, nearly all of the 18 textbooks under review includes Tokyo`s territorial claim on Dokdo, as Japan`s education ministry rewrote its education guides for teachers and described Dokdo as Japanese territory. In particular, a guidebook on middle school history instructs teachers to teach students how Japan included the islets as its territory "on legitimate grounds under international law."

Meanwhile, Seoul`s foreign ministry will "sternly" deal with Japan`s territorial claim to Dokdo in response to Tokyo`s diplomatic blue book. "It is needless to say that Dokdo is South Korean territory in terms of history, geography and international law," a ministry spokesman said.