Tokyo, Aug. 12: Japan may take a territorial row with South Korea to the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba has said.
Genba’s comments come a day after President Lee Myung Bak’s unprecedented visit to a group of disputed islands.
According to the Japan Times, Genba made the announcement after being briefed by Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Masatoshi Muto, who was temporarily recalled shortly after Lee’s trip to the islands, called Takeshima by Tokyo and Dokdo by Seoul, in the Sea of Japan.
The government will also consider boosting its willingness to respond swiftly and firmly to territorial issues such as Lee’s visit, Genba said.
Genba added that he will consider ‘measures designed to peacefully resolve disputes on the basis of international law, including submitting an application (to consider the case) to the International Court of Justice’ in The Hague.
“Taking the long-standing dispute to the court would allow Japan to promote its challenge to South Korea’s control of the islands on the global stage and help the international community to better understand Japan’s sovereignty claim by explaining the issue more clearly,” Genba said.
Genba said that Japan has refrained from approaching the court over the islets for decades out of concern about the impact such a move would have on bilateral ties.
In Seoul, a government official condemned Genba’s remarks as inappropriate. (ANI)