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Gov't urges Japan to retract 'unjustifiable' claim to Dokdo Island

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Jan. 23 urged the Japanese government to immediately withdraw its "unjustifiable" territorial claim to Dokdo Island. (Korea.net DB)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Jan. 23 said, "We strongly protest the Japanese government's repeated unjustified claims of territorial sovereignty over Dokdo Island, which is clearly our territory historically, geographically and under international law, through the (Japanese) Foreign Minister's parliamentary speech on diplomacy," urging an immediate retraction of the claim.

Ministry Spokesperson Lim Soo-suk issued a statement saying, "The Japanese government's repetition of unjustifiable claims is of no help in building future-oriented bilateral relations."

"(Dokdo) is indisputably the indigenous territory of the Republic of Korea historically, geographically and under international law."

On the mines on Sado Island where Koreans were forced to work before and during World War II, the ministry added, "We urge Japan again to follow up on its 2015 pledge when registering its 'modern industrial facilities' as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and implement the World Heritage Committee's repeated decisions as soon as possible."

Tokyo has failed to keep its pledge in 2015 to inform the world of the forced labor of Koreans at such facilities on Hashima (Battleship) Island in the process of their inscription as UNESCO World Heritage.

Korean media including Yonhap News said Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi on Jan. 23 in a parliamentary policy speech called Dokdo Japanese territory "in light of historical facts" and pledged a "resolute response based on this basic stance."

By Margareth Theresia