South starts Takeshima row classes


The Independence Hall of Korea started holding classes Thursday to teach about a pair of South Korean-held islets at the heart of a bitter sovereignty row with Japan.

Some 3,000 people, including elementary school students, their family members and tourists, are expected to attend the classes on the history and nature of the islets in the Sea of Japan, which are known as the Takeshima Islands in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.

The classes are part of the center’s education program on the independence movement during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking at an opening ceremony, Seo Kyeong Deok, a professor at Sungshin Women’s University who was named to oversee the classes, said overseas publicity through culture and tourism is the most important way to enforce the South’s jurisdiction of the barren outcroppings, which, before 1945, were Japanese possessions.

The major purpose of the classes is to strengthen education so people can respond logically, instead of emotionally, to Japan’s territorial provocations, Seo said, adding they will continue to be held until Japan stops acting in a provocative manner.