August 06, 2014 10:30
Japan on Tuesday unveiled its 2014 defense white paper which once again lays claim to Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo. Japan first lodged the flimsy claim in the 2005 defense white paper when Junichiro Koizumi was prime minister.
The policy document states that disputes over Japanese territories including "the Northern Territories [referring to the Kuril Islands] and Takeshima [the Japanese name for Dokdo]" remain unresolved.
The white paper includes a map where Dokdo is labeled "Takeshima."
Another map unilaterally lays claim to boundaries along the exclusive economic zones that are in fact still being negotiated with Korea.
In the document, Japan also asserts its right to so-called collective self-defense, which allows it to intervene if an ally is in some way under threat. It describes the move as "consolidating peace and security."
It explains the Abe administration's decision to resume arms exports.
The Foreign Ministry here protested, saying Dokdo clearly belongs to Korea "historically, geographically and according to international law" and that the latest move clearly shows Japan is unwilling to repent its colonial atrocities.
But the ministry did not comment on the collective self-defense issue. A ministry official said the defense white paper contains no new information about the matter, reiterating Korea's position that the move must be transparent and consistent with the principles of Japan's pacifist constitution while contributing to peace and stability in the region.
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