South Korea on Friday rapped Japan for renewing its territorial claim over a pair of South Korea-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a statement criticizing Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida for making remarks repeating Japan's claim to the Takeshima islets, known as Dokdo in Korean, in a foreign policy address to the Diet earlier in the day.

"It is deeply deplorable that the Japanese foreign minister made an unjust claim once again over Dokdo, which had been sacrificed first in the process of Japan's past usurpation of the Korean Peninsula," the statement said.

South Korea "urges the Japanese government to immediately retract its useless claim to Dokdo, which is an integral part of our territory," it said.

South Korea wants to make clear once again a correct recognition of history is the basis of relations between South Korea and Japan, it said.

"We want Japan to actively join our efforts to establish a new relationship between South Korea and Japan by making an agreement between the two countries on former 'comfort women' late last year a turning point," it said.

On Dec. 28, Tokyo and Seoul reached an agreement on the issue of former "comfort women," who were forced into military brothels for the Japanese military.

Under the agreement, Japan promised an apology and to contribute to a cash fund for surviving comfort women in South Korea, on the condition that the latter regards the matter as finally settled.