Seoul daily reports 96 Japanese have visited contested islets since 2005

Kyodo

Ninety-six Japanese have visited a pair of South Korea-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan over the last 12 years, a Seoul daily reported Wednesday.

The Japanese visitors are among the 1.94 million people who have traveled to the islets, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese, since 2005, the JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing data released by the local management office for the islets in Ulleung County, South Gyeongsang Province.

The Japanese visitors were mainly students studying in South Korea, historians and tourists, the report said. Tokyo has called on Japanese nationals not to visit the islets.

Meanwhile, 11 of the Japanese were among 801 foreigners awarded honorary certificates of residence on the islets, it said.

The management office has issued the honorary residence certificates to a total of 35,013 who landed on the islets or circled around them by boat more than once since 2010 — a move that is aimed at promoting the fact that South Korea has control of the islets.

The certificates have been given only to those who applied for them.