Tokyo Furious Over Korean State Dinner for Trump

      November 09, 2017 12:30

      The rightwing government in Tokyo was duly incensed when Korea served U.S. President Donald Trump shrimp caught near Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo, to which Japan maintains a flimsy colonial claim.

      Worse in the eyes of the nationalists in Japan was the invitation to a state dinner for Trump on Tuesday of a victim of imperial Japan's sexual enslavement of women during World War II.

      A set of dishes served U.S. President Donald Trump during a state dinner at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Tuesday /Courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae

      Tokyo protested through diplomatic channels that Cheong Wa Dae's invitation of sex slavery victim Lee Yong-soo to the state dinner is "against the purport" of a 2015 agreement to compensate the women, which was once described as "a final and irreversible resolution," according to the Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday.

      The controversial deal, which trades indirect compensation for a promise to remove memorials for the victims from the vicinity of Japanese diplomatic missions, makes no mention of what events the victims of the atrocity can or cannot be invited to.

      The new government of President Moon Jae-in wants to reverse it. 

      U.S. President Donald Trump hugs sex slavery victim Lee Yong-soo at a state dinner at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Tuesday. /Yonhap

      Tokyo also protested against Seoul's effort to assert its sovereignty over Dokdo by serving Trump a dish of shrimp caught there. It said the move is "incomprehensible" since the islets are Japanese.

      Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo need "close cooperation at this time" to respond to the North Korean issue and "avoid any moves that could have adverse effects on trilateral cooperation."

      Suga added he would not make any official comment on the menu at another country's state dinner but he still wondered why Seoul did what it did.

      The rightwing Sankei Shimbun called the state dinner "an anti-Japanese banquet." 

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