SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Sunday summoned a senior Japanese diplomat to strongly protest Japan's latest move on sending a high-level government official to attend the controversial "Takeshima Day" celebration, local media reported.
Lee Sang-deok, director-general in charge of Northeast Asia affairs at South Korea's foreign ministry, filed the protest after summoning Hisashi Michigami, a senior minister at Japan's Embassy in Seoul, Yonhap news reported on Sunday.
Lee said Japan's territorial claims to the disputed islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea, and Takeshima in Japan, were equal to denying history.
The denunciation came after Japan's Shimane prefectural government held the annual commemoration of the Takeshima Day, which was set up in 2006 by the local government to lay territorial claim to the islets.
Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a vice ministerial-level official to the event for the second year in a row.
This year, Yoshitami Kameoka, a parliamentary secretary in the Cabinet Office, attended the ceremony along with 16 Japanese lawmakers.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Saturday also published a statement to slam Japan for marking the day.
It blamed Japan's for attempting to retract its past apology to "comfort women" for coercing them into sex slavery for Japanese military during World War Two.
The ministry said that Japan marked the provocative "Takeshima Day" just two days after Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated an overall review over interviews with 16 South Korean comfort women, who identified themselves as sex slaves during the Second World War.
In addition, hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Saturday to protest the celebration of the "Takeshima Day."
Rival political parties in South Korea also condemned the ceremony as Japan justifying and glorifying its past colonial rule and war of aggression.
Ties between Seoul and Tokyo have been strained since Abe returned to power in December 2012. Abe infuriated its Asian neighbors by visiting the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in December 2013, as it honors 14 convicted class-A war criminals during World War II.
S.Korea raps Japan for marking Takeshima Day
SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Saturday slammed Japan for commemoration of the controversial "Takeshima Day" to claim the islets known as Dokdo in South Korea, and Takeshima in Japan, that lie midway between the two nations.
"The Japanese government illegally incorporated the Dokdo islets in its territory in 1905 when the Imperial Japan rushed to disseize the Korean Peninsula, calling Dokdo as islets nobody owns. Now it is laying far-fetched claim to Dokdo, saying the islets have originally belonged to inherent part of Japan's territory," Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Full story