Dokdo ferry operator imposes ban on Japanese passengers

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EurTERaGn0]‪Dokdo([/ame]

    A South Korean operator of a regular ferry service to Dokdo said Wednesday that it has decided to ban Japanese nationals from boarding its ships in protest against Tokyo's latest territorial claims.

    Seaspovill Co. said that all Japanese citizens will be indefinitely barred from taking its ferries departing from Gangneung on South Korea's east coast to Ulleung Island and the easternmost islets of Dokdo.

    "Our decision is to protest against the Japanese lawmakers' attempt to visit Ulleung Island earlier this week," said an official of Seaspovill Co., referring to the East Sea island located some 90 kilometers west of Dokdo. "It is in line with the government's will to sternly respond to the Japanese (government's) renewed assertion."

    The diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Tokyo heightened on Monday after three right-wing Japanese lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to visit Ulleung Island to lay claim to Dokdo. Seoul flatly dismisses Tokyo's claims as nonsense, saying it regained control over all of its territory, including Dokdo, at the end of Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule.

    "Any Japanese passengers will not be allowed to board our ferries starting today," according to the official. "We will not scrap the decision until Japan stops making its absurd claims."

    The company launched the passenger boats shuttling back and forth between Gangneung, 237 kilometers east of Seoul, to Dokdo via Ulleung Island in March. There are several other ferry operators which service the same route.

    "Some Japanese customers have tried to make reservations for our liner heading for Dokdo, but we turned them down, citing safety concerns," the official added.
     

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