South Korea protested Japan‘s renewed territorial claim to Dokdo, a group of disputed islets in the Sea of Japan between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago, on Tuesday.
The claim, which is strongly disputed by South Korea, which has long maintained effective control of Dokdo, also known as Takeshima in Japan, with the permanent stationing of security personnel there, was included in Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s 2023 Diplomatic Bluebook, according to Yonhap News Agency.
The Bluebook stated that South Korea has continued an “illegal occupation” of the area with no legal basis.
Lim Soo-suk, spokesperson for South Korea’s foreign ministry, said Seoul “strongly protests Japan’s repeated unjust claims of sovereignty over Dokdo, which is of our sovereign territory historically, geographically and under international law”.
He went on to say that Japan should “clearly recognise” that repeating such statements does not help Seoul and Tokyo create a future-oriented partnership.
Naoki Kumagai, deputy head of mission of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, was summoned by the Ministry to give a formal complaint letter.
While South Korea controls the islets, Japan claims sovereignty over them, and North Korea also claims the region.