Japan Protests Korean Lawmakers' Visit to Dokdo Islets
Japan has lodged a protest over a visit by 15 Korean lawmakers to Korea's southernmost Dokdo islets.
The members of the National Assembly's National Defense Committee visited Dokdo Tuesday afternoon as part of a government inspection, despite a call one day earlier by Japan's chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura to cancel the trip.
This is the third time the committee has sent its members to the islets, following visits in 2005 and 2008.
The Japanese government's protest went to the Japanese embassy in Seoul.
[Interview : Osamu Fujimura, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary ] "I delivered my regret to the Korean government, that Japan cannot accept the visit, when taking into consideration Japan's claim over Dokdo."
The secretary also said that Japan will continue to try and bring the issue to the International Court of Justice.
[Interview : Osamu Fujimura, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary ] "There is no change in our judgment and we are preparing to bring the issue to the court."
Japanese media are reporting that the visit by Korean lawmakers was aimed at promoting Korea's control over Dokdo to the people at home and abroad.
The media also expects that Tuesday's visit will negatively affect bilateral relations between Korea and Japan, which had been stabilizing recently.
Diplomatic tensions between the two countries surrounding the islets escalated in August, when President Lee Myung-bak became the first sitting Korean leader to ever visit Dokdo.
Heo Seung-ha, Arirang News.
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