Japan has approved new textbooks listing disputed islands Takeshima/Dokdo as Japanese territory causing, South Korea to summon Japan’s ambassador on Wednesday to protest the action. The islands are administered by South Korea but claimed by Japan.
South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson Cho Byung-jae stated, “We express our deep disappointment and regret over the history textbooks … that justify and beautify (Japan’s) wrong view of history,”. Cho also said Seoul hopes the textbook dispute won’t affect South Koreans’ “pure and beautiful” support for Japanese quake and tsunami victims.
In Japan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Satoru Sato said Japan’s stance on the islets “remains consistent” and called for calm.
At the the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday lead activist Choi Jae-ik shouted, ”We made warmhearted donations, and all we got in return is a distortion of history,” lead activist Choi Jae-ik shouted during the rally. “We deplore Japan’s ungrateful behaviour.” A passer-by watching a different rally in front of the Tokyo embassy stated: “It hurts our feelings when the Japanese claim that our territory is theirs. … Our willingness to help them out was washed away when we heard this claim from Japan.”
According to the Associated Press, South Korea’s Red Cross said it has collected 23 billion won ($20.9 million) in donations for Japan which is a record amount for a foreign country hit by natural disasters. The government is also sending more than 500 tons of bottled water, 6,000 blankets and other aid items to Japan.
In Japan preoccupied with the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Meltdown disaster the release of the new textbooks was not prominently mentioned by major news outlets.