World / Asia-Pacific

S. Korea protests against Japan's territorial claim on easternmost islets

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-02 16:17

SEOUL - South Korea on Tuesday lodged a strong protest against Japan's repeated territorial claims on its easternmost islets, called Dokdo here and Takeshima in Japan, lying halfway between the two countries.

Seoul's defense ministry called in a defense attache from Japanese Embassy in Seoul to protest against Japan's 2016 defense white paper in which the islets are described as Japan's territory.

It marked the 12th consecutive year since 2005 that Japan claimed sovereignty over the islets in the annual white paper.

The ministry expressed deep regrets over the Japanese government in its protest letter, delivered to the summoned attache, saying Japan must immediately stop making useless claims, squarely face history and make efforts to open a new future for relations between South Korea and Japan.

The protest letter noted that South Korea's military will take stern actions against any Japanese attempt to damage South Korea's sovereignty over the Dokdo islets.

Seoul's foreign ministry also summoned an official from Japanese Embassy in Seoul, lodging an official protest against the annual white paper.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that South Korea strongly protests against Japan's unjust territorial claims on Dokdo islets, which are its indigenous territory historically, geographically and according to international laws.

The statement called on Japan to squarely face historical facts and immediately stop making groundless claims, saying Japan must make efforts to move toward a new future for South Korea-Japan relations based on trust.

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