The South Korean foreign minister pledged Thursday to take stern action against Japan if Tokyo steps up its territorial claim to the easternmost South Korean islets of Dokdo in its new history textbooks.
Japan is scheduled to announce the results of its examination of revised elementary school textbooks on Friday, with Seoul expecting Tokyo to ratchet up its territorial claim to Dokdo.
“Right after the announcement is made, (South Korea) will take stern measures accordingly,” Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told reporters.
“We are closely watching the situation, and the government may have an opportunity in the near future to convey its stance,” the minister said.
Echoing Yun’s pledge, foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young called on Japan to withdraw its “unjust claims to Dokdo.”
“It is very regretful that the Japanese government does not change its stance (on the territorial claim),” Cho said. He, however, declined to disclose what specific action Seoul will take, by only saying, “You should wait and see.”
Japan’s claim to Dokdo has long been a recurring source of diplomatic tension between the two neighbors.
Japan has renewed its claim to the set of rocky islets after its nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power last year, severely souring bilateral ties.
South Korea rejects Japan’s territorial claims because Seoul regained its independence from Japanese colonial rule and reclaimed sovereignty over its territories, including Dokdo and many other islands around the Korean Peninsula. South Korea keeps a small police detachment on the islets. (Yonhap)