SEOUL (Xinhua): South Korea expressed strong protest Tuesday (July 14) against Japan's renewed territorial claims to the Dokdo islets, which is called Takeshima by Japan lying halfway between the two countries.
The Seoul foreign ministry said in a statement that the government strongly protested against Japan over its repeated unjust territorial claims to Dokdo that is "clearly our inherent territory historically, geographically and by international law."
It urged Japan to immediately retract the claims, saying its unjust and absurd claims will be of no help for the relations between South Korea and Japan.
The statement made it clear that Japan's unjust claims would not affect South Korea's sovereignty over the Dokdo islets, vowing to sternly deal with any provocation against the easternmost islets of South Korea.
It came after the defence white paper, approved by Japan's cabinet earlier in the day and described the Dokdo issue as a matter that remains unresolved.
Since 2005, Japan has laid territorial claims to the islets every year in its diplomatic blue and defence white papers.
South Korea restored its sovereignty over Dokdo after the Korean Peninsula's liberation from the 1910-1945 Japanese colonisation. Seoul has since maintained a small police detachment on the rocky outcroppings.
South Koreans see Japan's sovereignty claims to the islets as its denial of the colonial history as Dokdo was the very first territory that was forcibly occupied by Japan. - Xinhua
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