SEOUL – The South Korean Foreign Ministry blasted Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday for reiterating Japan’s claims to South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan and demanded that Tokyo retract the claims.
Noda called a news conference in Tokyo to address territorial disputes in Japan’s adjacent waters and insisted the Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea belong to Japan.
South Korea refers to the Takeshima islets as Dokdo, while China refers to the Japan-controlled Senkakus as the Diaoyu.
“We strongly protest . . . the unjustified territorial claims (Noda) repeatedly made and demand an immediate retraction,” South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai Young said.
Separately, the South Korean ministry also demanded that the Diet retract its resolution denouncing President Lee Myung Bak’s Aug. 10 visit to Dokdo.
The ministry summoned a Japanese diplomat Friday and handed the official a letter protesting remarks made in the Diet earlier this week by Foreign Minister Koiichiro Genba that South Korea is “illegally occupying” the disputed isles.
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade described as “unjustified” the resolution adopted by the House of Representatives earlier Friday and demanded that the Diet “immediately” retract the document.
Diplomatic tension between the two countries has flared since Lee made the unprecedented visit to the main Takeshima islet Aug. 10.
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