South Korea criticized Japan Friday for renewing territorial claims to its easternmost islets of Dokdo, urging Tokyo to heed international warnings against its nationalist actions.
Seoul’s reaction came after Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida reiterated his country’s claims to the islets in an address to parliament and after the Tokyo government opened a website promoting its claims to the islets.
“Such groundless claims and useless attempts repeated over time only show the world that Japan is still under the spell of imperialism,” the foreign ministry here said in a statement.
It also shows how hollow Japan’s so-called active pacifist policy is, the ministry said, referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hard-line policy seen as being aimed at exerting more diplomatic and military power in the region.
“The Japanese government should humbly listen to the warnings from leaders of the international community. Deception and distortion cannot conceal historical truth,” the Seoul ministry said.
Under the conservative Abe administration, Japan has taken several rightist moves including renewing its claims to Dokdo and rewriting history textbooks. Furthermore, Abe has visited the controversial shrine of Yasukuni that honors Japan’s Class-A war criminals, the first such visit by a state head in seven years.
Such nationalistic moves by Japan have seriously deteriorated its relations with South Korea as well as China, victims of Japan’s wartime atrocities in the early 20th century. (Yonhap)