Japan hopes to continue talks about a FTA agreement in Asia, in spite of the territorial issue with China and the Senkaku and the Liancourt Rocks called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in Korea, Masaru Sato said today at a Gaimusho briefing held at Foreign Press Center Japan. Two major items here: Japan-South Korea swap arrangement and the talks on Japan, China, South Korea FTA (Free Trade Agreement). On the ICJ, Sato announced that Japan proposed Seoul to institute proceedings before the International Court of Justice.
ROK president Lee on Takeshima Dokdo
On Takeshima Dokdo, we seem to be on conciliation mode. Everyone calls on ways based on international law. Looks like Japan has a case here that ROK does not want to see studied by the ICJ. But the bad news came later for Tokyo as officials of Cheong Wa Dae said, according to press reports at the Blue House, that Lee Myung-bak is likely to return the Japanese prime minister’s written protest against his recent visit to Dokdo that escalated tension between the two countries. ROK is "leaning toward refusing to accept last week’s letter from Yoshihiko Noda" after discussing with experts in international law and foreign relations on the territorial dispute.
Japan ministry of Foreign Affairs Sato Masaru at FPCJ
“We wouldn’t need to leave a bad diplomatic precedent (by taking the letter) and it carried unjust content that we cannot accept. Also there was a breach of courtesy,” Korean official said quoted by the Korea Herald, referring to the Japanese government’s release of the message to local media in advance of delivery. Courtesy and diplomacy. The Korea Herald writes that "Lee’s visit (to Takeshima Dokdo) has thrown bilateral relations to their lowest ebb in decades and triggered criticism over his apparent populist aim"... I noticed major US and UK media colleagues attended this briefing event held at FPCJ, in the middle of the crisis. I'll write more about this diplomatic and nationalistic crisis on my blog tomorrow... We are not yet at the end of this crisis affecting the 3 major North East Asia powers. How ironical on the 40th anniversary of Japan China diplomatic relations!
(Sources: Gaimusho, Foreign Press center Japan, Korea Herald, news agencies)