Japan protests Pyeongchang Olympics website’s claim to Dokdo

Posted on : 2017-01-21 15:06 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Japanese Foreign Minister makes claim to Dokdo for fourth consecutive year in foreign policy speech
Dokdo on the website of the organizing committee for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Dokdo on the website of the organizing committee for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

The Japanese government reportedly used diplomatic channels to protest the mention of Dokdo on the website of the organizing committee for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. In addition, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said during his New Year’s foreign policy address in the Japanese Diet on Jan. 20 that “Dokdo is Japanese territory.”

The Japanese media reported on Jan. 20 that it had been confirmed on Jan. 19 that the Japanese government had used diplomatic channels to protest the fact that the island called “Takeshima” in Japanese was listed as “Dokdo” on the official homepage of the Pyeongchang Olympics, in an attempt to claim the island as Korean territory.

In a section of the organizing committee’s English-language website called “Republic of Korea culture,” there is a page titled “Dokdo & Ulleungdo, Korea’s Easternmost Islands,” which includes a description of Dokdo.

The Japanese government reportedly argued that this is “a violation of the Olympic Charter, which forbids political propagandistic activities in Olympic venues and the surrounding area” and called on the South Korean government to revise the information on the homepage.

Conservative Japanese newspaper the Sankei Shimbun even mentioned the fact that, after South Korea won the bronze medal in men’s soccer by defeating Japan during the third place playoff in the 2012 London Olympics, Park Jong-woo, a player on the South Korean team, held up a sign that said “Dokdo is Korean territory,” which earned him a warning from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

During his speech on Jan. 20, Kishida also promised to “continue taking persistent action and clearly communicating Japan’s position that Takeshima in Shimane Prefecture is Japan’s sovereign territory.” This is the fourth year in a row that Kishida has claimed that Dokdo belongs to Japan during his New Year’s address.

“We deplore the repetition of these inappropriate claims. [Japan] must abandon its futile claim to Dokdo, which is clearly Korean sovereign territory, and recall once more that a proper historical attitude is the basis of its relations with us,” South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued on Jan. 20 in response to Kishida’s remarks about Dokdo.

By Gil Yun-hyung, Tokyo correspondent and Cho Ki-weon, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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