Japan should bet Tsushima on its bid for Dokdo, a senior Korean diplomat said Monday. The island of Tsushima is the closest Japanese territory to the Korean Peninsula, lying approximately 50km from Busan. Dokdo is a group of small islets in the East Sea.
“If Japan lodges a protest with Korea over Dokdo, it should bet Tsushima,” the diplomat, Chang Dong-hee, said in a radio program.
He made the remarks after news reports that Tokyo will take the issue of Dokdo, Korea’s easternmost islets claimed by Tokyo as its territory, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
When asked about Japan’s alleged move to take Dokdo to the international court, Chang said doing so unilaterally makes no sense.
He said the ICJ can exercise jurisdiction only when the two countries concerned agree on it; a pact struck between the two nations stipulates that if any similar disputes occur, they will take them to the international court; and both parties accept the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
He said since Korea will not agree to the ICJ’s jurisdiction, filing a complaint unilaterally will not make any sense.
As to concerns that if conflicts occur in waters near Dokdo, they will be referred to the ICJ, Chang said even if the U.N. Security Council asks for taking the case to the international court, jurisdiction could be exercised as long as Korea opposes it.