Japan is hoping to garner international support for its sovereignty claims to the Takeshima islets and the Senkaku Islands with a series of recent actions, including a Diet resolution denouncing recent landings on the disputed territories.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan will seek a Diet resolution to condemn South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the Takeshima islets on Aug. 10 and the Aug. 15 landing on the Senkaku Islands by Hong Kong activists.
The Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan, called Dokdo in Korean, are controlled by South Korea, but claimed by Japan. The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu in Chinese, are administered by Japan, but claimed by China and Taiwan.
Koriki Jojima, the ruling party's Diet affairs chief, told reporters on Aug. 16, "Japan should show the world its stance (toward the territorial disputes)."
Top members of the government and the DPJ are expected to decide on the submission of a Diet resolution to both Houses on Aug. 20, followed by coordination with opposition parties.
The resolution is expected to be adopted early next week.
It will be the first Diet resolution related to the Takeshima or Senkaku disputes, according to the secretariat of the Lower House.
Sadakazu Tanigaki, leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, told a meeting of the LDP’s foreign affairs division on Aug. 16, "Japan needs to make its claims clear."
In addition, the Noda administration will press Seoul to agree to Tokyo filing the Takeshima dispute with the International Court of Justice. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura announced the proposal on Aug. 17.
The same day, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba summoned South Korean Ambassador Shin Kak-soo to inform him of Tokyo's intent.
Japan's Foreign Ministry has started preparing a letter to Seoul to formally propose a filing with the ICJ.
There are two ways to file a complaint with the ICJ: First, a country can propose bringing a case before the court, and, if the other country agrees, the two jointly work out a complaint. Second, a country can submit a complaint to the court and then seek consent from the other country. In either option, the other country's consent is required.
The Foreign Ministry has decided to seek South Korean consent first, to speed up the process.
But with Seoul set to reject the proposal, there are no immediate expectations for the start of a trial.
Despite that, by making public the contents of the letter, Tokyo will stress Japan's sovereignty over the Takeshima islets. Japan also believes it can make it clear to the international community that Seoul's reasoning for rejecting the case is unconvincing.
The Foreign Ministry is considering seeking arbitration if the issue of the ICJ filing fails to be resolved through diplomatic channels.
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