Japan bolsters claim over Korea's Dokdo Island in new school textbooksUpdated: 2014-04-04 22:01:21 (KST)
Eight out of 12 textbooks that will be used in Japanese elementary schools starting next spring will falsely state that Korea's Dokdo Island is part of Japan.
Of the eight textbooks approved by the Japanese education ministry Friday, six say Korea is illegally occupying Dokdo, known as Takeshima in Japanese, while two carry maps that mark the island as Japanese territory.
Dokdo, which is physically closer to Korea in the body of water that divides the Korean Peninsula and Japan, has long been a thorn in bilateral relations.
South Korea's foreign ministry immediately rebuked Japan for the new textbooks, which make much stronger claims over Dokdo than before.
In protest of the textbooks, which make much stronger claims over Dokdo than before, Seoul's foreign ministry summoned the Japanese Ambassador to South Korea and warned of further strained ties.
"The South Korean government warns that if the Japanese government continues to make unjustified claims on Dokdo through its textbook revisions, it will only further distance the two countries."
On the same day, Japan released its annual diplomatic blue paper, which carries Tokyo's stance on the victims of its wartime sexual enslavement of women.
In it, Tokyo says all wartime compensation issues between Japan and South Korea were settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized diplomatic ties between the two countries.
It claims that even though the so-called "comfort women" were compensated by a government-linked Asian Women's Fund and received apologies from previous prime ministers, Korea continues to demand additional measures from Japan.
It says Japan believes the issue should not be turned into a diplomatic feud and that it's putting every effort into resolving the issue.
Around 200-thousand women, mostly Korean, were forced to serve the Japanese military during the Second World War, and many are still waiting for a heartfelt apology from Japan.
While Korea and Japan were expected to hold working-level talks on the so-called "comfort women" issue this month, the chances of such a meeting taking place at this time appears slim.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
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