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2012年8月19日 (日)

「竹島」提訴へ 日本領有の正当性を発信せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 19, 2012)
Use ICJ suit to emphasize Japan's Takeshima sovereignty
「竹島」提訴へ 日本領有の正当性を発信せよ(8月18日付・読売社説)

It is highly significant that our country is making a wide appeal to the international community to recognize the legitimacy of Japan's sovereignty over the Takeshima islands.

The government has announced plans to take the sovereignty row involving the islets in the Sea of Japan to the International Court of Justice.

Japan will shortly propose that the two countries work together to bring the Takeshima issue before the U.N. tribunal in The Hague. If South Korea refuses the overture, Japan will file a suit on its own with the ICJ.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura stressed in a news conference Friday that Japan wants to "resolve the issue calmly, fairly and peacefully based on international law."

He went on to say, "If South Korea believes its claim to the ownership of Takeshima is justifiable, it should accept our government's proposal."

South Korea has rejected going to the ICJ for a ruling on the disputed islets two times so far, and it plans to dismiss the Japanese move this time, too.


Given the ICJ is unable to begin proceedings over an international dispute without the consent of all parties concerned, there are no prospects for the main judicial body of the United Nations to start hearings over the Tokyo-Seoul territorial row.


Syngman Rhee Line outrageous

Through Japan's planned lodging of a suit, however, South Korea's illegal occupation of the islets and the unconscionability of its claim to Takeshima will become widely known to the international community. It is very important for Japan to calmly proceed with the court proceedings.

A look at Takeshima's history makes it indisputably clear that Japan established its sovereignty over the islets in the middle of the 17th century. A Cabinet decision was made in 1905 to incorporate the islets under the jurisdiction of Shimane Prefecture.

In the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed after World War II, Takeshima was excluded from the list of areas for which Japan was obliged to renounce its territorial claims.

In 1952, just before the treaty went into effect, however, then South Korean President Syngman Rhee unilaterally took control of the Takeshima islets by creating the so-called Syngman Rhee Line--in violation of international law--and South Korea has been illegally occupying Takeshima since then.

The Japanese government, for its part, must assert from time to time that Takeshima is clearly Japanese territory both historically and under international law.

The responsibility for causing the turmoil this time lies entirely with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, who brashly visited Takeshima on Aug. 10.

It has been the practice of successive administrations of South Korean political leaders, when beleaguered by domestic politics, to wheel out historical and territorial problems vis-a-vis Japan in the form of political claptrap to exploit nationalistic sentiments of the South Korean people.


Avoid irreparable animosity

President Lee's deeds this time, combined with his subsequent demand for an "apology from the Emperor" for the wartime past, is particularly unforgivable. South Korea should be cognizant of this.

The Japanese side, in a bid to work out further countermeasures against Lee's words and deeds, is considering such steps as postponing a Japan-South Korea summit meeting and intergovernmental consultations scheduled for the near future.

Finance Minister Jun Azumi, for that matter, does not rule out the possibility of scaling down a credit line Japan was prepared to set for a bilateral currency swap deal designed for the transfer of foreign currencies to one of the two countries in time of a monetary crisis.

Indications are that Japan-South Korea ties will remain stalemated at least for the time being.

The price for the worsening of bilateral relations will eventually have to be paid by both Japan and South Korea.

A prolonged feud between the countries is bound to benefit only North Korea in connection with security affairs in the northeastern Asian region.

Both Japan and South Korea must act with cool heads and keep talking to prevent bilateral relations from irreparably plunging into animosity.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2012)
(2012年8月18日01時38分  読売新聞)


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