Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

International Francophone Games kick off in Abidjan

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Spicer bows out of White House

Read more

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a city fractured by sectarian mistrust

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya court rules Dubai firm can print presidential ballots

Read more

ENCORE!

Omar El Akkad's 'American War': A tale of US dystopia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Exxon sues US over $2m fine for violating Russia sanctions

Read more

Asia-pacific

Japan recalls South Korea ambassador over disputed island visit

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-10

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's visit to disputed islands suspected of containing rich natural gas reserves raised tensions between Seoul and Tokyo on Friday, with Japan recalling its ambassador and issuing a terse warning.

REUTERS - Japan recalled its ambassador to South Korea on Friday after South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visited disputed islands believed to contain frozen natural gas deposits potentially worth billions of dollars.

Lee is the first South Korean leader to make the trip to the islands that have been a persistent irritant in relations between the two countries even after they moved on from Japan’s colonial occupation to develop flourishing commercial ties.

The two sides have also worked together to try to rein in North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

Japan issued a terse warning over the islands, known as Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, which lie equidistant from the two mainlands, and summoned South Korea’s ambassador to Tokyo to formally lodge a complaint.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba also said Tokyo had recalled its envoy to Seoul.

“The visit to Takeshima by President Lee is unacceptable in light of Japan’s stance on this issue,” Gemba was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

Officials in South Korea said the visit was meant to highlight the islands’ importance as a natural reserve and was not aimed at stirring up trouble.

“There shouldn’t be anything unusual in a national leader visiting a place that is our territory,” an official said.

Lee travelled to a larger island called Ulleungdo off the Korean peninsula’s east coast, which is not disputed, and made the final leg under tight security with military and coast guard escort.

Lee’s stop on the islands was largely overlooked in South Korea, where he is in the final year of a mandatory single five-year term mired in corruption scandals involving former close aides and family members.

 

Date created : 2012-08-10

  • CHINA-JAPAN

    China warns Japan in East China Sea island row

    Read more

COMMENT(S)