Home Japanese values Japanese envoy withdraws from US press conference on islet-South Korean dispute – embassy

Japanese envoy withdraws from US press conference on islet-South Korean dispute – embassy


FILE PHOTO: Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman leaves after speaking about the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC, US August 18, 2021. Andrew Harnik / Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON Japan’s deputy foreign minister withdrew from a scheduled press conference with his South Korean and US counterparts in Washington on Wednesday over a territorial dispute between the two US allies, a spokesperson for the Japanese Embassy.

US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was left alone to answer questions in the absence of South Korea’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong Kun and Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori, who she had just met for three hours.

Sherman began by noting that “there are bilateral disputes between Japan and the Republic of Korea that continue to be resolved,” but said the cancellation of the joint press conference was unrelated to the meeting. previous trilateral, which she described as “constructive (and) substantive.

The three officials discussed the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea and their countries’ commitment to promote democratic values ​​and human rights and reaffirmed their commitment to maintain an Indo-Pacific region. inclusive, free, peaceful, stable and open, said Sherman. .

Japanese Embassy spokesman Masashi Mizobuchi said Japan had “lodged a strong protest” on Tuesday against a visit by the South Korean police chief to disputed islets between the countries, known as from Takeshima in Japan. The group of windswept volcanic rocks is controlled by Seoul, which calls them Dokdo, but is also claimed by Tokyo.

“Under these circumstances, we decided it was inappropriate to hold a joint press conference,” Mizobuchi said in an email.

The South Korean embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

Ties between the two nations have also frayed because of the occupation of Korea by Japan from 1910 to 1945, including over “comfort women”, the euphemism of Japan to refer mainly to forced Korean women. to work in his brothels in times of war. The historic dispute has sparked tit-for-tat trade restrictions in recent years.

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TAGS: Choi Jong Kun, Diplomacy, Dokdo, Japan, press conference, South Korea, Takeo Mori, Takeshima, Territorial conflict, United States, Wendy Sherman
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