* Date : 2017-01-28
Adding to already icy relations, the Japanese government on January 20 called on Seoul to revise the name Dokdo used for Korea's easternmost island on a map on the PyeongChang Olympic Games website. Tokyo argues the reference is in violation of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits political, religious, or racial propaganda at Olympic sites, venues, and other areas. It claims the island is disputed territory. To this, Korea's foreign ministry urged Japan to immediately stop its “useless claims.” Tensions already abound between the two countries due to disagreements on a landmark sexual slavery agreement and the installation of a symbolic statue. The issue of Dokdo Island looks likely to only make things worse.
Dokdo Island is Korea's easternmost territory. Seoul's foreign ministry clearly states the island is an integral part of Korean territory, historically, geographically and under international law. While ample historical records confirm this, Japan's territorial ambitions over the island continue to this day. Tokyo continually lists Dokdo as its land in its annual defense white papers and has worked to ensure high school textbooks reflect this claim. What is driving these ambitions from Japan? We sit down to discuss the latest issue at the center of strained ties between Seoul and Tokyo.