Takeshima issue should be solved through diplomacy: JCP chair
August 11, 2012
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on August 10 visited Takeshima Island (named Dokdo in South Korea) which is the center of the territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan. This was the first visit by a South Korean president to the disputed island.
Asked by reporters for a comment on Lee’s visit to the island, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said, “Behavior that may increase tensions between Japan and South Korea should be avoided. Territorial issues should be addressed through diplomatic negotiations based on historical facts and international law.”
Explaining that the JCP in 1977 expressed its view that Japan has the historical legitimacy to claim Japan’s sovereignty over Tkashima Island, Shii said, “The island was incorporated into Japan in 1905 when Japan was imposing colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula by using military force and Korea’s diplomatic rights were taken away. Taking into account this fact, South Korea’s claim should be carefully considered.”
Citing his talks with South Korea’s Grand National Party floor leader in the National Assembly during his visit to South Korea in 2006, Shii stressed, “Only when Japan sincerely reflects on its past colonization of the Korean Peninsula, can a foundation for rational talks over the issue be created. Based on this foundation, the two nations should consider the historical facts and hold diplomatic negotiations in a calm manner. Our government is beholden to take such a stance.”
Asked for a comment on Defense Minister Morimoto Satoshi’s remark that Lee visited the island due to political necessity, Shii criticized the minister for lacking diplomatic tact.