The upper house of Japan's Diet passed a resolution on Wednesday criticizing President Lee Myung-bak's recent visit to Dokdo and call on Japanese Emperor Akihito to apologize for the occupation of Korea.
The resolution came on the very day that marked the 102nd year of Japan's annexation of Korea, launching a brutal colonization that lasted from 1910 to 1945. The upper house claimed Korea "illegally occupies" Dokdo and told it to leave the islets. The lower house passed the same resolution last Friday.
Japan's Foreign Ministry applied to the Diet for funding for projects aimed at publicizing its dubious claim to Dokdo around the world on YouTube and other websites. "We will join hands with regional governments to strengthen publicity of our ownership of Dokdo," Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said. "This is the start of full-fledged efforts."
The Japanese ministry recently invited foreign reporters to a session publicizing Japan's claim to Dokdo. Prominent Japanese politicians have also recently denied that Japan forced Asian women to serve as sex slaves at battlefront brothels during World War II, and Tokyo is taking steps to whitewash its wartime atrocities in school textbooks.
In an editorial on Wednesday, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper urged Tokyo to scrap a statement made by former Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993 which acknowledged the existence of "comfort women" and to a certain extent the role played by the Imperial Army. It claimed that the statement is false.
The Asahi Shimbun also accused Korea of failing to acknowledge the apologies and reflections Japan has made regarding its World War II atrocities. Genba said at a press conference that there are "no problems" with recent remarks by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that there is no evidence that Asian women were forced to serve as sex slaves.
Meanwhile, ex-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has proposed scrapping three past official statements reflecting on the country's World War II atrocities, has started to launch his bid for the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party, according to Japanese media.