S. Korea calls in Japanese diplomat over event echoing Tokyo’s Dokdo claims

The foreign ministry called in a Japanese diplomat Thursday to lodge a protest over an annual regional event in Japan held to highlight Tokyo's territorial claims to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo. The ministry expressed strong regret and delivered its position to Taisuke Mibae, the deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, officials said. The government repeatedly urged Japan to "immediately abolish" the event. "The government strongly protests against Japan's repeated and unjust territorial claims to Dokdo, as demonstrated by the hosting of the so-called 'Takeshima Day' in Shimane Prefecture and the attendance of high-level government officials," foreign ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said in a commentary. "Dokdo is undoubtedly our inherent territory, historically, geographically and by international law. The Japanese government must promptly abandon its unjust claims to Dokdo and face history with a humble attitude," Lim said. The Shimane prefectural government has held t he event annually since 2006 to highlight its claims to the Dokdo islets. This year, Shojiro Hiranuma, the parliamentary vice minister of Japan's Cabinet Office, attended the event as the government representative. Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul also protested the event during one-on-one talks with his Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, on the margins of the foreign ministers' meeting of the Group of 20 nations in Brazil on Wednesday. Dokdo has long been a recurring source of tension between the two neighbors, as Tokyo continues to make the sovereignty claims in its policy papers, public statements and school textbooks. South Korea keeps a small police detachment on the islets, effectively controlling them. Source: Yonhap News Agency