The main ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan has started considering sanctions against South Korea, following the South Korean National Police Chief’s visit to the Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan.
Korean National Police Commissioner General Kim Chang-yong landed on the islands, which South Koreans call Dokdo, on November 16. He met the police there.
South Korea controls the islands. Japan claims them. The Japanese government maintains that the islands are an integral part of Japanese territory. He says South Korea is illegally occupying them.
On Wednesday, the PLD held the first meeting of its task force to study possible sanctions against South Korea.
Sato Masahisa, the director of the party’s foreign affairs division, who chairs the team, sharply criticized South Korea’s decision, which was taken despite repeated calls from Tokyo for restraint.
He said that it is necessary not only to protest, but also to take action in response. He also said that there are other issues on the South Korean side and his team will come up with policies to address them.
The task force will look at sanctions across broad areas including finance, investment and trade, while discussing the issue with relevant government agencies and listening to expert opinions.
The team plans to draft an interim report with concrete measures by next summer.