Seoul subway removes Japanese condom ads over territorial row

July 17th, 2008 - 11:43 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
Seoul, July 17 (RIA Novosti) The Seoul subway has taken down advertisements of Japanese condoms amid outrage in South Korea over Japan’s renewed claim to a disputed group of islands. The Korea Times quoted a Seoul Metro official as saying the advertisements inside the carriages, calling Okamoto condoms ‘Japan’s No. 1′, “could run counter to public sentiment following the eruption of a fresh row over Dokdo.”

The latest dispute over the Dokdo islets, controlled by South Korea and located halfway between the Korean mainland and Japan, flared up at the start of this week when the Japanese government announced that new teaching guidelines for schools would state that the islands are illegally occupied.

The subway official told the paper that any breach of contract issues over the condom advertisements are a matter for Okamoto, Japan’s largest condom maker, and the subway’s subcontractor in charge of advertising.

Japanese condoms, which have a history stretching back centuries, are known in Asia for their colorful and often humorous packaging.

On Monday, South Korea recalled its ambassador from Tokyo over the re-ignited territorial row, and on Wednesday protesters pelted the Japanese embassy in Seoul with rotten eggs and vegetables.

Japan claimed sovereignty over the islands, which it calls Takeshima, in 1905, soon before its occupation of Korea, and ceded control after World War II. The islands cover a territory of only 187,000 square meters but are surrounded by rich fishing waters.

While South Korea says it has owned the territory since the sixth century, Japan claims that it had effective control of the islands since the 17th century when its fishermen began using them as docking points.
RIA Novosti

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