National / Politics

South Korean lawmakers visit disputed islets amid Japanese opposition

Kyodo

A group of South Korean lawmakers from the country’s ruling and opposition parties traveled to South Korea-controlled, Japan-claimed islets in the Sea of Japan on Monday amid opposition from Tokyo.

The office of Lee Chan-yeol, chairman of the education committee in the National Assembly, confirmed the group’s visit to the pair of rocky islets known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.

The Japanese government had been calling via diplomatic channels for the group not to travel to the disputed islets, following a similar visit there last May.

Lee’s office had said 13 lawmakers, including those from the ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition Liberty Korea Party would visit the islets.

Lee said in a Facebook post Monday morning that the purpose of the visit was to repudiate Japanese claims in school textbooks that the islets are part of Japan and to propagate a “correct understanding of history.”

South Korea has stationed security personnel on the islets since 1954 and has constructed lodgings, a monitoring facility, a lighthouse and port and docking facilities.

The islets are roughly equidistant from the Korean Peninsula and Japan’s main island of Honshu.