FUKUI – The mayor of Suwon, South Korea, has postponed plans to visit the “friendship city” of Fukui at the end of August, Fukui said Monday.
It said Suwon Mayor Yeom Tae Young’s visit would be put off due to a “scheduling conflict.”
The postponement appears to have been made in consideration of the bilateral turbulence following South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s visit on Aug. 10 to Dokdo, a set of islets roughly halfway between Japan and South Korea that Japan claims as Takeshima. South Korea controls the islets.A Fukui city official said the postponement is regrettable.
Fukui and Suwon became friendship cities in 2001. In January, Fukui received a request from Suwon for a goodwill visit to Fukui, and a trip to the Ichijodani Asakura Clan ruins outside the city was slated to take place from Friday to Monday.
Lee’s visit to the islets further strained diplomatic ties. Japan recalled its ambassador to Seoul to protest Lee’s visit and exchange programs between the two countries have been shelved.
Monument on Dokdo
South Korea on Sunday unveiled a monument on Dokdo to commemorate President Lee Myung Bak’s Aug. 10 visit there, prompting a protest from Japan, which claims the rocky islets as Takeshima.
The monument “will become a symbol of Korean sovereignty and the spirit of defending Dokdo,” South Korean Public Administration and Security Minister Maeng Hyung Kyu said at the ceremony, according to officials of North Gyeongsang Province, which oversees the islets.
The 1.2-meter tall stone monument was erected in front of a building that houses a South Korean security garrison.