Japanese Historians Visit Disputed Island

Created: 2013-05-23 13:20 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

Two Japanese historians and one Buddhist monk visited a disputed island on Thursday and declared that the territory belongs to South Korea.

They reached a port of the disputed island along with Chinese students and chanted in Korean "Dokdo is a Korean territory." The island is known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

The Japanese historians and monk are members of a civic group called "A Civic Group Protesting Takeshima" and are launching a campaign against the Japanese government's territorial claim over the island.

[Norio Kuboi, Historian]:
"I have always believed that Dokdo is Korean territory."

The Japanese party originally consisted of four people and they were invited to South Korea by a local school teaching about Dokdo and its history.

[Norio Kuboi, Historian]:
"I feel that I am responsible for spreading this belief (that Dokdo is Korean) among Japanese people."

However, one of them expressed a reversal of his opinion of the disputed island and his application to enter the island was rejected by the school officials.

The long-simmering territorial dispute erupted anew last year when former president Lee Myung-bak became the first South Korean leader to set foot on the islands claimed by both countries but controlled by Seoul.