Sunday, September 2, 2012

Korea and Japan officials discuss Dokdo

Korea's ambassador to Japan and Japan's vice foreign minister held a brief meeting to discuss pending issues, including the dispute over the Dokdo islets, amid heightened tension between the two countries, sources said Friday.

Korean Ambassador to Japan Shin Kak-soo and Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenichiro Sasae held a 30-minute meeting at the Japanese foreign ministry, according to sources.

Sasae informed Shin that Tokyo has started the necessary procedures to take the Dokdo case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on its own, according to a JiJi Press report. The South Korean embassy declined to comment on the issues discussed.

The meeting comes as tensions over thorny issues between the two countries run high following President Lee Myung-bak's unprecedented trip to South Korea's easternmost islets on Aug. 10.

Tokyo strongly protested the move and bilateral relations deteriorated further after Lee later called on Japanese Emperor Akihito to apologize for wartime atrocities if he wishes to visit South Korea.

Korea has flatly rejected Japan's proposal to take the Dokdo issue to the ICJ, saying no territorial dispute exists over the islets.

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