Tokyo Asked to Set Up Agency Handling Dokdo Issue

      February 23, 2012 12:22

      Japan's Shimane Prefecture, which lays a dubious claim to sovereignty over Korea's Dokdo Islets, has asked Tokyo to establish a separate state agency to oversee the islets and turn "Takeshima Day" into a national holiday. Takeshima is the Japanese name for Dokdo.

      In 2005, the Shimane Prefecture assembly designated Feb. 22 Takeshima Day to mark Japan's claim. The Japanese press reported on Wednesday that prefecture officials visited Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura in Tokyo to present a letter with their proposal.

      Fujimura told them that it was a "good proposal" and that he would "consider the matter."

      The Japanese central government is treading a delicate line trying to manage nationalistic sentiment over the islets. Key cabinet members and other government officials did not attend a Takeshima Day ceremony in Shimane Prefecture. But Fujimura said, "I was unable to attend due to my schedule in the Diet, not because of diplomatic courtesy to Korea."

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