Japan's foreign minister has asserted that South Korea's territory Dokdo is their own. Japan's Foreign Minister has maintained that "Dokdo is Japanese land" for 10 consecutive years.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a diplomatic speech to the regular National Assembly on 23 March, "The Dokdo [the name of the Dokdo claimed by Japan] is Japan's own territory in light of historical facts," and "we will respond resolutely based on this basic position."
In a diplomatic speech last year, he asserted that "Dokdo is Japan's own territory under international law, both in the light of historical facts."
After current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida first claimed that Dokdo was Japanese land in a 2014 diplomatic speech when he was foreign minister, Japan's foreign minister has been repeating the same claim for 10 years.
However, Foreign Minister Hayashi emphasized that in order to respond to the North Korean issue, it is necessary to strengthen strategic cooperation with South Korea. He said, "South Korea is a neighboring country that should cooperate in responding to various challenges in the international community, and it is important to strengthen cooperation between South Korea and Japan."
The ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs "strongly protests and urges the immediate withdrawal" of Foreign Minister Hayashi's claim to Dokdo, noting that "the Japanese government must clearly realize that repeating unfair claims against Dokdo will not help in any way to build future-oriented relations between South Korea and Japan." [HangukKyungJae]