Curry On: Japan and South Korea Clash Over Dish That Resembles Disputed Islands

© AP Photo / Korea PoolIslands called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan are seen Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Islands called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan are seen Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
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Sometimes even something extraordinarily trivial, such as a meal served in a small countryside restaurant, may become a bone of contention between two nations.
A bowl of curry has caused a major media row between Tokyo and Seoul. Tensions escalated after Japanese media posted a picture of a seafood curry dish from the island of Okinoshima in the Shimane prefecture. The dish included two rice-shaped mounds and a tiny Japanese flag mounted on them.
The shape of the rice piles resembled the Liancourt Rocks - tiny islands in the Sea of Japan that have been a huge problem for relations between the two countries. This territory, known as Dokdo in South Korea and as Takeshima in Japan, is claimed by both nations.
© Photo : Okinoshima-TownA curry dish representing the disputed Takeshima islets
A curry dish representing the disputed Takeshima islets - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
A curry dish representing the disputed Takeshima islets
North and South Korean media responded immediately, criticising the Japanese press for sharing the image. Dong-A Ilbo newspaper even cited a professor saying that Japan had used a “typical cheap trick” to promote its claims to the islands.
This is not the first time those islets have sparked a scandal this year: previously, Seoul summoned a Japanese envoy after the islands appeared as part of Japan on a map on the Tokyo Olympics’ website.
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