This photo provided by a resident of Kunashiri Island shows Kang Chang Il (2nd from R), a lawmaker of South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party, and others visiting the island, one of four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan, on May 24, 2011. The visit went ahead despite concerns expressed by the Japanese government about the ramifications it would have on the long-standing territorial dispute. (Kyodo)
Those Koreans should have figured out what repercussions their visit to Japan's territory Kunashiri Island without Japan' formal approval would have on South Korean relations with Japan. Their visit has helped the general public realize that both Koreas have been hostile to Japan and her people despite the fact that Japan has shown them its friendly gestures in a number of ways for decades.
Foreign Minister Mr. Matsumoto strongly criticized their visit at the press conference held on May 24 that he would not accept the Korean lawmakers' behavior of supporting the Russian sovereignty over Kunashiri Island. He earlier expressed his regret during the meeting with the Korean counterpart Kim Seong Hwan that Japan would never find it acceptable if executed by the Korean lawmakers. Kim reportedly replied to Mr. Matsumoto that the planned visit to Kunashiri would have nothing to do with South Korean government. Mr. Matsumoto declined to comment whether he would bring it up during Japan-Russia Summit scheduled at G-8 Summit in France.
The Liberal Democratic Party held its foreign affairs committee with foreign ministry officials on May 24, at which many members of the party expressed their anger over the visit and strongly criticized the Foreign Ministry for failing to stop the visit when south korean president Lee was visiting Japan. Mr. Seiichi Goto, a member of the upper house of the national Diet shouted "Aren't you really trying to protect Japan's national interests?" and poured a glass of water over them.
His act of pouring a glass of water over the Foreign Ministry officials may not be welcome but it clearly demonstrates that Japan's patience seems to be running out. South Korean government and its people will have to take its consequences.
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