News / Asia

    S. Korea to Return Japan's Protest Letter Amid Island Dispute

    VOA News
    A simmering territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan continued Thursday, with Seoul saying it would return a protest letter sent by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

    Prime Minister Noda sent the letter to protest South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's recent visit to a group of rocky islands controlled by Seoul but claimed by both countries.

    Seoul says it is returning the letter on the grounds that it is contains inaccuracies regarding the islands, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

    The letter also expressed regret at Lee's recent comments that Japan's Emperor Akihito should apologize for his country's colonial rule of South Korea.

    Relations between the two Asian neighbors have soured since Lee's August 10 visit, which was the first ever by a South Korean president.

    Earlier this week, South Korea dismissed a proposal by Japan to take the decades-old dispute to the International Court of Justice.

    The disagreement has also jeopardized talks between Japanese Prime Minister Noda and President Lee that were slated for next month on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Forum.

    Tokyo is also reportedly considering whether to call off a soon-expiring currency swap deal with South Korea, as well as several other diplomatic or economic measures in response to Lee's visit to the islands.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of South Korean protesters staged a rally in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul Thursday, denouncing Japan's claim to the islands.

    Activist pumped their fists, chanted anti-Japan slogans and wore headbands emblazoned with words defending South Korea's claim over the string of islands.
     
    The largely uninhabited islets have been under effective South Korean control since the end of Japanese colonial rule after World War II.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nonpartisan Critic from: Worldwide
    August 23, 2012 6:58 AM
    It's a bit puzzling, but as objective as you may have attempted, it appears to make Korea the transgressor. Korea has been waiting and waiting to bring these historical issues to the global attention. Yet, this article clearly doesn't even mention the real issue. Instead, you address Japan as the victim and Korea the transgressor. Why don't you mention the one historical aspect that keeps bringing the tensions high in the North East Asia region? Wouldn't that be more reflective of accurate reporting. Then again, as the publishing name states, it's the Voice of America. Most North East Asian region understands that America generally advocates on Japan's behalf. If you wish to refute these claims, then please start shedding light to what really happened in the past.

    Here are some interesting facts you should notate. The territory in dispute was determined not by the bilateral countries, but by the United States. In addition, this island was originally part of Korea's territory prior to Japan's annexation. The contract clearly stipulates to unconditionally return all of Korea's territory.And lastly, the millions of civilians massacred, sexual bondage, and human genetic experiments were apparently ignored... Continual ignorance to these outstanding issues will eventually further marginalize U.S. interests in the North East region.

    So as a journalist, if this article is of U.S. interests then think of a more balanced report.
    In Response

    by: HHI from: US
    August 23, 2012 8:11 PM
    It's been an issue hardly squared between the two nations... but I'm telling you this had never been a CRITICAL conflict that would mess up their economical partnarship or cultural intraction. Now why this?? Because of the enemy of Japanese and the shame of Korean. Lee Myon-Bak. He has messed up all the people's efforts just by trigering a chain of naive conflicts in the worst occasion just for his upcoming election. Please Korean people be aware that tehre should be much smarter Korean leaders to guide your nation.
    In Response

    by: Doggyhorse from: Japan
    August 23, 2012 7:43 PM
    I think this article of voa is fairly objective. I agree to the comments of tmt and Summer completely as they are historically correct. Korea should go to the international court with Japan if they think their occupation of the disputed island rightfully belong to them. Why hesitate to do so? Comfort women's issue had been settled with compensations made. Because of the recent incident, I came to dislike Koreans. I also came to think more that Japan should be more assertive not to be just bring attacked by other neighboring nations.
    In Response

    by: James from: GZ
    August 23, 2012 4:14 PM
    Summer,NO sexual bondage? what, are you eight? See, Japanese never make a sincere apology to neighbors for what they had done in World War II.
    In Response

    by: tmt from: Japan
    August 23, 2012 1:20 PM
    >The largely uninhabited islets have been under effective South Korean control since the end of Japanese colonial rule after World War II.
    this sentence is not correct. Syngman Rhee invaded the islands after he declared "Syngman Rhee Line" in 1952 know as "Peace Line" in south korea.
    the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman Rhee Line was illegal under international law.
    In Response

    by: Sing from: USA
    August 23, 2012 11:43 AM
    Summer in Japan how old are you? How you can say that there is no evidence of sex slaves ( I do not call them comfort women just a beautification of a war crimes). If they have compensated all the victims how is still today they are seeking compensation is the wrong words it should be restitutions for the imperialist Japs. History cannot be changed by beautiful words and lies.
    In Response

    by: Summer from: Tokyo
    August 23, 2012 9:59 AM
    I think this article is fair.

    One thing that I'd like to mention is, that there were confort women in Japanese army but NO sexual bondage!
    Those confort women had highly paid and free to quit their job, not forced by Japanese army. Moreover, Japan already had paid huge compensation for confort women in 1965. Also Japan raised the Asian Women Fund for them.

    There's no reliable evidence concerns "forced" sexial slaves. I feel that Korean's intend to get anther compensation for human rights claim, which can get world's sympathy easily.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.