S Korea summons Japanese military attache to protest territorial claim

16:56, September 10, 2010      

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South Korea's defense ministry Friday summoned the Japanese military attache in Seoul to protest Japan's latest territorial claim over a set of disputed islets, Yonhap News Agency reported.

In its 2010 defense white paper approved on the same day, Tokyo stated the rocky outcroppings lying halfway between the two countries, called Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, are traditionally part of Japanese territory despite remaining disputes.

The defense ministry said in a statement that in a meeting with the Japanese attache Hiroshi Kimura, it strongly "protests" Japan's renewed sovereignty claim and urged it to "immediately retract", according to Yonhap.

No genuine progress in bilateral military ties will be made unless Tokyo renounces its stance, the ministry said.

South Korea's foreign ministry expressed "deep regret" over the issue earlier in the day. "We would once again like to make it clear that Dokdo is our territory historically, geographically and by international laws. We will resolutely deal with any unjust attempt to violate our sovereignty over Dokdo," the statement said.

The claim in the defense white paper, the first by the liberal- leaning Democratic Part of Japan, is "unhelpful" for Seoul-Tokyo ties, the ministry said.

The islets have been a constant source of diplomatic feuds whenever Japan renewed its sovereignty claims in school textbooks and official documents.

Source: Xinhua


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