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Seoul summons Japanese envoy over renewed claims to Dokdo

Dokdo (Yonhap News)
Dokdo (Yonhap News)
South Korea summoned the vice chief of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul Wednesday to lodge a complaint against Tokyo's renewed territorial claims to Seoul's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

Takashi Kurai, the deputy chief of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Park Joon-yong, the director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Northeast Asian department, according to the Seoul ministry.

The summons came a day after Japan cited the diplomatic resolution of the Dokdo ownership issue as one of the tasks in its national security strategy outline, released a day earlier.

Japan has tried to stir up a territorial dispute over Dokdo in a bid to bring the issue to the International Court of Justice, but Seoul rejected such attempts saying the islets are indisputably South Korea's territory.

During the meeting with the Japanese official, Park protested Japan's claim to Dokdo in the strategy outline and demanded the country delete the Dokdo issue from the paper, according to the ministry.

Park also delivered a letter of protest to Kurai, who reportedly plans to convey it to the Japanese government.

Following the release of the Japanese national paper on Tuesday, the Seoul ministry issued a statement, protesting the inclusion of the Dokdo issue and demanding the removal of it.

"Japan's renewed, illegitimate territorial claim over Dokdo, which is made in the form of the national security strategy plan, raises doubts about Japan's sincerity toward mending ties with South Korea," the ministry's spokesman said.

The rocky outcroppings in the body of water have been a recurring source of Seoul-Tokyo diplomatic feuds.

Seoul reclaimed its territories, including Dokdo, when it gained its independence in 1945 from Japan's colonial rule. South Korea keeps a police detachment on the set of islets. (Yonhap News)