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Japan opens museum in Tokyo exhibiting materials about disputed isles

The Japanese government opened a museum Thursday in central Tokyo exhibiting items related to islands that have been a source of friction between Japan, China and South Korea with the aim of showing that they are an inherent part of Japan.


The permanent exhibition within Hibiya Park deals with materials from the South Korean-controlled group of islets in the Sea of Japan called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, as well as the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, claimed by China as Diaoyu.


“It is a key facility for spreading awareness about Japan’s territorial sovereignty within and outside of the country,” said Tetsuma Esaki, minister in charge of territorial issues, at a ceremony marking the opening of the facility.


“We will be holding rotating exhibits and adding more resources for display,” he said.


The 100-square-meter space displays historical documents, including the 1905 Cabinet decision to put Japan’s Shimane Prefecture in control of Takeshima, and materials showing Japan’s development of the Senkakus over a century ago.


The museum opened at a time when China has been repeatedly sending official vessels, including recently a nuclear submarine, near the Senkakus, while South Korea held defense training around Takeshima.


The facility has free admission and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except for weekends and holidays.

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