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Japan to continue falsely claiming Dokdo despite new leadership: Experts Updated: 2021-10-26 04:44:03 KST

Analysts in South Korea say that for the time being, Japan, despite recently coming under new leadership, will continue to make false claims over Dokdo.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party released its pledge booklet ahead of the general elections on October 31st claiming again, as it did in 2017, that Dokdo belongs to Japan.
This, along with several other hardline policies, came as a surprise to some in Japan, considering new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's "dovish" reputation but Dr. Lee Myon-woo of the Sejong Institute believes it's a calculated move.

"There's a need for the LDP to refrain from straying too far from its original position. The ruling party enjoys support from conservatives so it probably had no choice but to include its territorial claim toward Dokdo in its booklet."

As such, experts predict Tokyo won't be too aggressive about it.
They say Japan will have to take into account a third party in the United States who would not favor the islets becoming a hotly contested issue.

"For Washington, the Korea-U.S.-Japan alliance is crucial in dealing with China. The three as a trio share a strong relationship, but Korea and Japan as a pair do not. Tensions just keep rising between the two."

Dr. Lee says the same applies for Korea who don't have anything to gain from sovereignty over Dokdo becoming an international conflict.

"We are the ones occupying Dokdo. The islets are ours so there's no reason for us to take Dokdo to the International Court of Justice. If we do, who knows what could happen. It's not wise on our part to make it into a conflict."

Korea has been in effective control of Dokdo since its liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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