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People's Daily Online

S. Korea protests Japan's renewed territorial claim to islets

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 14:15, July 21, 2015

SEOUL, July 21 -- South Korea on Tuesday lodged a strong protest against Japan's renewed territorial claim to Dokdo, a pair of rocky outcroppings called Takeshima in Japan, as the cabinet led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved its annual defense white paper.

The South Korean Defense Ministry called in Army Col. Nobuhisa Goto, defense attache of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, to its headquarters Tuesday morning, delivering a message of protest to him.

The message said that the South Korean military strongly protests Japan's repeated claims to Dokdo islets, its own territory historically, geographically and according to international laws.

It noted that Japan's unjust claim blocked a forward-looking development of military relations between Seoul and Tokyo, expressing deep regrets and strong protests against the annual defense white paper.

The Japanese 2015 defense white paper said that territorial issues over the Northern Territories and Takeshima were still ' unresolved.' The Northern Territories refer to four Kuril Islands controlled by Russia.

It marked the eleventh year since 2005 that Japan laid territorial claims in the paper to Dokdo islets, which South Korea retrieved after its liberation from the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule.

Since 1986, the South Korean military has conducted defense drills in waters near the islets, lying closer to the Korean Peninsula than Japan. South Korea has deployed security guards on the islets since 1954.



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