politics

S Korean PM criticizes Japanese gov't for boycotting Korean Air

22 Comments

South Korea's prime minister urged Japan Tuesday to drop its boycott of a Korean airline which flew over islands claimed by both nations, calling the ban a breach of international rules.

Kim Hwang-Sik also protested against a plan by Tokyo lawmakers to visit the closest point to the disputed Dokdo islands which are controlled by South Korea, calling it "very regrettable."

The latest flare-up in the decades-old dispute came when Korean Air operated a demonstration flight of its new Airbus A380 aircraft in June over the Dokdo islands, which are known as Takeshima in Japan.

Tokyo in response ordered civil servants not to use Korean Air for one month.

"A move targeting a private firm like Korean Air is inappropriate and may contravene global diplomatic protocols and WTO (World Trade Organization) rules," Kim's spokesman quoted him as saying in a cabinet meeting.

Kim demanded the airline boycott be ended immediately, saying it was an "unchanging truth" that the rocky islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) belong to South Korea.

Four lawmakers from Japan's conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party last Friday announced plans to visit Ulleung island -- the closest South Korean territory to Dokdo -- next month.

The move drew anger from Seoul lawmakers, one of whom pledged to "stop the entry to Ulleung island by all possible means."

"If the visit is aimed to reassert a territorial claim on Dokdo... I want them to get real and cancel the trip immediately," Special Affairs Minister Lee Jae-Oh wrote on his Twitter account last Saturday.

South Korea, which was colonized by Japan from 1910-1945, has sought to strengthen its control over the islets after Japan in March authorized new school textbooks reasserting its claims to them.

© Agence France-Presse

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
Login to comment

immature on both sides.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Peaceful 'neighbors' trading barbs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese government took quick action on this incident. Wish they can show this sense of urgency for many of the domestic incidents goin on.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't think Japan really cares about diplomatic protocols or WTO rules ... it's a cultural thing!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The more international airlines the better it is for travelers because the competition can provide cheaper flights.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“A move targeting a private firm like Korean Air is inappropriate and may contravene global diplomatic protocols and WTO (World Trade Organization) rules,” Kim’s spokesman quoted him as saying in a cabinet meeting.

Korea shouldn't have had a private firm pull this kind of stunt. Otherwise there wouldn't be a boycott against a private firm.

Korea, Japan, and China should agree on not provoking each other with ANY of these kind of stunts and/or having nationals from respective countries taking boats out there and making claims to the islands.

A three-way agreement sharing the islands where each country claims 1/3 of the islands and 1/3 of any future profits made from the natural resources found there should be sought after. That seems to be the only viable solution available for these three unbudging nations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd be interested to hear what those civil servants have to say about this...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Given the choice, you would think that most Japanese diplomats would have flown JAL or ANA anyway even before this mandate over KAL or Asiana.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's J-gov that pulled a stunt, not Korean Air. Actually, this kind of 'commemorating' or demonstration flights over the islands, Dokdo (also known as Takeshima in Japan) have been run sometimes for more than several tens of years. But very strangely enough this is the first time that J-gov decided to make all the fuss over it. The airspace above the island belongs to Korean ADIZ (air defense identification zone) so that any Korean airliners can fly over them without any permission from other countries, including Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well it takes two to tango. Why does this not surprise me?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Every time I see the word 'regrettable' used by politicians in this region, it appears to be misused.

For the perpetrators there is obviously no expression or feeling of regret ; and the injured party seems to be taking both satisfaction and politcal gain from their role as victim. So it seems unlikely that 'regret' is anywhere near the forefront of their emotions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Korea asked for it... Japan just called their bluff, I hope Japan bans the airlines entirely, that's not how you resolve a dispute.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's likely no actual monetary loss to KAL from the move by MOFA; it's purely symbolic. Move on...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

S Korean PM criticizes Japanese gov't for boycotting Korean Air

Yeah, because South Korea have never boycotted anything Japanese...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan%E2%80%93Korea_disputes#Boycotting_of_Japanese_products

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is not uncommon for civil servants / government officials not to fly other nation's aircraft anyway. If I recall there are times US officials have to fly on US airlines. The queen of England goes around on British Airways, imagine if she showed up flying American airlines!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

japan should be entitled to spend its (our?) money anyway it wants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both countries need to get a life, there are bigger fish to fry especially with Japan. Two big babies fighting over an empty bottle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speed, your post is confusing. Please be clear. This has absolutely nothing to do with China. It never has. Even the Chinese will admit that! :8)

The two islands under discussion are in the Sea-which-cannot-be-named between Korea and Japan. The question is bilateral.

One side has seized them and fortified them without waiting for international arbitration. This is popular domestically for that side, but naturally unpalatable for the other. Each time the one side shows off in some way, it will have a popular reaction back home, but a negative reaction from the other side. It's automatic. Do something popular, Yay, and piss off the other side, Yay! Basic Human Nature 1.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So why don't the four lawmakers go directly to visit Dokdo? Oh wait, their Korean controlled and inhabited, so they can't. They are South Korean land, after all.

But yes, both parties here are being childish, and if it's government officials avoiding flights on Korean Air it's us who are ultimately paying more for another airline, as Korean Air is among the cheapest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamandaJUL. 20, 2011 - 02:56PM JST Speed, your post is confusing. Please be clear. This has absolutely nothing to do with China. It never has. Even the Chinese will admit that! :8)

You're absolutely right! I mistakenly mixed up two different island disputes with two different countries. Thanks for pointing that out.

The Japanese-Korean dispute is over the Takeshima/Dokdo Islands, while the Japanese-Chinese dispute is over the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands.

In that case, instead of going 1/3 like I originally wrote, go halfs on each island chain and share the future exploration/development costs and split the wealth accordingly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i can't believe Korean's action 'Cause it goes without saying the island of Takeshima is a formal Japanese territory. but they have captured by unlawful occupation. i think, they should have to release the island as fast as possible.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The queen of England goes around on British Airways, imagine if she showed up flying American airlines!

The queen of England doesn't have her own Airforce One??? The outrage!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites