State official to attend Takeshima Day event

Kyodo

A senior government official will attend a ceremony next week commemorating Japan’s “incorporation” of the two tiny islets at the center of the simmering sovereignty dispute with South Korea, the minister in charge said Friday.

Yoshitami Kameoka, a parliamentary secretary in the Cabinet Office, will go to the Feb. 22 Takeshima Day ceremony, said Ichita Yamamoto, minister for ocean policy and territorial integrity.

It will be the second year in a row for a central government official to attend the ceremony.

South Korea controls the islets and calls them Dokdo. They lie roughly halfway between the two countries.

Until last year, when Parliamentary Secretary Aiko Shimajiri attended, no government official had joined the annual event, which was set up in 2006 by the Shimane Prefectural Government.

“The dispatch is to indicate (the islands are) inherent parts of Japan’s territory historically and based upon international law,” Yamamoto said.