Two leading rightwing figures in Japan met Wednesday to boost Tokyo's flimsy colonial-era claim to Korea's Dokdo.
Hiroyuki Hosoda, a prominent figure in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party met with Okinoshima Mayor, Kazuhisa Matsuda and said that the Japanese government is trying to establish a department that exclusively deals with the Korean islets.
The Sankei Shimbun quoted Hosoda as saying, "We are heading toward setting up a department that will exclusively deal with the issues surrounding [Dokdo] that Korea is illegally occupying."
New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged during his campaign to promote a "Takeshima Day," after the Japanese name for the islets. The day is so far only a regional festival in Shimane Prefecture, which claims administrative authority over the islets.
In the event, Abe decided to hold off attending this year's event on Feb. 22, but Hosoda pledged to be there.