Japan Govt Official Attends Takeshima Event for 12th Year

AP file photo

Matsue, Shimane Pref., (Jiji Press)—A senior Japanese government official Thursday attended an annual ceremony on the Sea of Japan islands of Takeshima in Shimane Prefecture for the 12th straight year.

The western prefecture held the event in its capital, Matsue, to mark Takeshima Day, which is designated under the prefecture’s ordinance to assert the country’s sovereignty over the islands, controlled by South Korea, where the islets are called Dokdo.

The 19th Takeshima Day ceremony brought together about 500 people including Shimane Governor Tatsuya Maruyama, lawmakers and prefectural assembly members. From the central government, Shojiro Hiranuma, parliamentary vice minister of the Cabinet Office, attended the event.

There was no limit to the number of participants for the first time in four years, because Japan downgraded COVID-19 to a lower-risk category of infectious disease in May 2023.

Japan’s relations with South Korea have been improving since Seoul presented a solution to the thorny bilateral issue of wartime labor in March 2023. However, the Takeshima Day ceremony is expected to attract protests from South Korea.