• Kyodo

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South Korea plans to hold military exercises next week on and around a pair of disputed islets in the Sea of Japan, the Yonhap news agency reported Thursday, citing an unidentified South Korean government source.

“The exercise to defend Dokdo will be held by the Navy and the Coast Guard next week for one day, with the participation of destroyer, patrol ship and aircraft,” the source said, referring to the islets by their Korean name.

The group of islets, controlled by South Korea and known as Takeshima in Japan, is embroiled in a territorial dispute between the two nations.

If the weather permits, South Korea’s Marine Corps plans to hold landing exercise on the islets, the report said.

South Korea has held similar exercises once or twice a year since 1986 in an effort to prevent external forces from occupying the islets or approaching them, drawing protests from Japan.

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