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ROK-Japan dispute worries US

[ 2012-08-14 11:09] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Tensions between Seoul and Tokyo over the disputed islands continued on Monday, and the rift is prompting Washington to worry about the already shaky US-Japan-ROK trilateral collaboration, analysts said.

ROK President Lee Myung-bak on Monday called Japan's reaction "expected" when discussing his Aug 10 visit to the disputed islands, which Seoul calls Dokdo and Tokyo calls Takeshima.

Lee said he had planned the visit "for three years", and he said the "Japanese government chose to express 'negative attitudes' on the islands issue due to its domestic political issues", the ROK's Yonhap News Agency said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recalled Japan's ambassador to the ROK to discuss countermeasures, and Japanese media on Monday focused on Tokyo's plan to lodge the islands case with the International Court of Justice.

Seoul on Sunday dismissed Tokyo's plan to go to the international court and said it will not respond to the request.

Joongang Ilbo, an ROK newspaper, on Monday slammed Tokyo's request as a move to "regionalize" the issue. The paper said a resolution through the international court requires the presence of both countries.

The ROK has kept a small coastguard detachment on the islands since 1954 and currently they are under Seoul's control. In both Japan and the ROK there has been friction and a fluctuating nationalist mood over the islands issue in recent years.

Seoul's leading newspaper Chosun Ilbo said Lee is in desperate need of a boost to his political leverage. He is facing a slumping domestic popularity amid corruption scandals implicating his associates.

Meanwhile, analysts said the islands issue will add complexity and division to the fragile US-Japan-ROK trilateral collaboration, which Washington has worked hard to develop in recent years.

Washington did not directly take a position on the islands issue. US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters on Aug 9, "We encourage good relations between both of our allies."

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

ROK-Japan dispute worries US

About the broadcaster:

ROK-Japan dispute worries US

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.