Japan`s envoy escapes injury in stone-throwing incident

Japan`s envoy to S Korea escaped unhurt when a protester threw stone at him.

Updated: Jul 08, 2010, 15:38 PM IST

Seoul: Japan`s ambassador to South Korea escaped unhurt when a protester threw a stone at him at a function here, but slightly injuring his translator.

The man who threw the stone at Ambassador Toshinori Shigeie was found to be carrying leaflets of a political group that asserts South Korea`s sovereignty over a pair of islets disputed between the two countries.

The stone was thrown at the start of a question-and-answer session after Shigeie had finished delivering an address in a function last evening.

The man yelled out from the audience that he had sent letters three times to the Japanese embassy without getting any reply. He then approached the ambassador, removed a stone from a brown envelope and threw it.

While the ambassador escaped injury, a Japanese woman working with the embassy who was translating for him was slightly injured in the hand.

The man was tackled and turned over to police.

The territorial dispute in question concerns two islets and numerous small reefs known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokto in South Korea. They are located in the Sea of Japan, which South Korea calls the East Sea.

Japan calls South Korea`s control of the territory an "illegal occupation" and has proposed in the past that the dispute be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.