Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Telephone Talks

August 10, 2012

On Friday, August 10, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Koichiro Gemba, had a telephone conversation with Mr. Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea (ROK) for approximately 15 minutes from 5:00 pm. An overview of the talks is as follows:

  1. Minister Gemba stated that President Lee Myung-bak's visit to Takeshima on August 10 is totally unacceptable because it contradicts Japan's position that Takeshima is an inherent territory of Japan in the light of historical facts and based upon international law. Minister Gemba also stated that the visit to Takeshima by President Lee completely undermines our idea of managing difficult issues from a broader perspective of the Japan-ROK relationship. Minister Gemba said that he cannot understand why President Lee visited the island at this point, and that the Government of Japan strongly protests the ROK. Minister Gemba also pointed out that the visit to the island by President Lee has a very negative impact on the public sentiment of the Japanese people toward the ROK and the Japan-ROK relationship. Minister Gemba also pointed out that as President Lee dared to visit Takeshima, the Government of Japan has decided to have Mr. Masatoshi Muto, Ambassador to the ROK temporarily return to Japan. Minister Gemba further added that due to the visit to Takeshima by President Lee, who is the head of state, Japan will take befitting actions.

  2. Minister Kim replied based on the ROK's stance.
    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)