South Korea protests Japan's claim to isles
South Korea summoned a senior Japanese diplomat Tuesday to protest his country’s renewed claim to a disputed island in its latest defense white paper, the foreign ministry said.
The ministry said the protest was delivered when it called in Kurai Takashi, the deputy chief of mission.
It said South Korea “strongly protests Japan’s re-inclusion of territorial claims” to Seoul-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japan.
“The government once again makes clear the plain fact that Dokdo is our indigenous territory,” it said in a statement.
The South’s defense ministry vowed to take unspecified stern action, saying Japan should immediately take “corrective measures”.
It said Japan’s repeated claims to the islets would undermine efforts to develop “future-oriented” military cooperation.
Last month South Korea shelved the signing of an information-sharing agreement with Japan.
It would have been the first military agreement between the two nations since the end of Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule. But the planned pact sparked angry reaction from opposition parties and activists.
Many older Koreans have bitter memories of Japan’s brutal rule, and historical disputes still mar their relationship despite close economic ties.