Home > News > Regional
Tuesday January 28, 2014 MYT 3:39:00 PM
Tuesday January 28, 2014 MYT 3:42:41 PM
SEOUL: South Korea called in the Japanese ambassador to Seoul on Tuesday to lodge a formal protest over school teaching manual revisions bolstering Tokyo's claim to a set of disputed tiny islets.
In a separate statement, the foreign ministry threatened unspecified "reciprocal countermeasures" if the revisions are not withdrawn immediately.
The Dokdo islands, known as Takeshima in Japan, are controlled by South Korea but claimed by both countries.
The Japanese education ministry has instructed teachers in junior and senior high schools to use amended manuals stating that the islands belong unequivocally to Japan.
The revisions apply both to the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute and to another set of islands whose sovereignty Japan disputes with China.
"We called in the ambassador to lodge a strong protest ... after the Japanese education ministry maliciously included groundless allegations in textbook teaching manuals," South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-Hyun told reporters invited to witness the convocation of Ambassador Koro Bessho.
The separate foreign ministry statement accused Japan of "holding on to its past bad habit of distorting history and nostalgia over past imperialism."
Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula remains a hugely emotive issue in South Korea, which feels successive Japanese governments have failed to properly apologise or atone for abuses committed during the period.
The island dispute is seen by most South Koreans as evidence of Japan's continuing bad faith and held up as an argument against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's desire to revise his country's pacifist constitution.
"We cannot but ask Japan how it could contribute to international peace and stability ... and play a greater role in the international society while it keeps creating conflicts with its neighbors and threatening regional peace and stability," the foreign ministry said.
Relations hit a new low in December when Abe made his first visit since taking office to a controversial war shrine which commemorates around 2.5 million Japanese war dead including several high-level war criminals.
South Korea and China said the visit was a symbol of Japan's failure to repent its 20th century warmongering.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has refused to meet with Abe since she took office nearly a year ago. -AFP
More than half of Chinese see war with Japan
Japan Inc cautious on India despite premiers' love-in
N. Korea repatriates rare S. Korea defector
Japan nuclear watchdog backs restart of two reactors
Australia and China hail strong ties
One dead as tropical storm flooding paralyses Philippine capital
M’sian jailed for checkpoint breach and customs offences
Tropical storm flooding shuts down Philippine capital
Asiad: Let the Games begin
Second South Korean found dead after Mexico hurricane
'Miracle' panda triplets open their eyes in Chinese zoo
Chef Bal Arneson is all sugar, spice and everything nice
Opportunists cash in on delayed iPhone launch in China
Idle in the lap of luxury at the Bulgari Hotel, Bali
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)