According to an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the message will bear the words “Han guk ttang (Korean territory)” in Hangeul, the Korean writing system. There are already several carvings and monuments on Dokdo claiming Korean ownership of the islets, though the existing carvings are written in Chinese characters.
“The messages, unlike other monuments, will be directly carved on the rocks, so it is particularly significant,” said the official. He added that the use of Hangeul will serve as a reminder of the importance of the Korean characters.
|The Dokdo islets. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea herald)|
The new Dokdo carving is widely interpreted to be a protest against Japan’s claim to the islets.
Japan, which has long clashed with Korea over historical and territorial issues, has recently approved 21 versions of high school textbooks carrying its claim to the islets. The textbooks also carried distorted views of Japan’s wartime crimes during World War II, such as the comfort women issue.
The move infuriated Koreans, prompting Seoul to deliver an official complaint decrying Tokyo’s approval of the textbooks.
Even some Japanese scholars denounced the country’s claim.
Japanese historian Haruki Wada recently said in his new book that Japan should immediately drop its claim. The 75-year-old scholar bashed the claim as “immoral,” while urging Japan to officially apologize for past atrocities and compensate the victims.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)