'Japan step on island ministry regrettable'

'Japan step on island ministry regrettable'

South Korea has lodged a protest against Japan’s decision to set up a new ministry to advance its position on its territorial rows with neighbours South Korea, China, Taiwan and Russia.

“It’s deeply regrettable and we strongly protest,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai Young said in a statement on Tuesday. The move shows “Japan has not repented for its history of imperialistic usurpation of Dokdo,” Cho said, referring to a pair of South Korean-administered islets in the Sea of Japan that are claimed by Japan, which calls them Takeshima.

“We demand Japan retract the move that runs contrary to the times,” Cho said. South Korea has also taken a number of measures to publicise its claim to sovereignty over the disputed islets in an effort to win international support.

Japan also has territorial disputes with China and Taiwan over the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands in the East China Sea — which are known as Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan — as well as with Russia over four Russian-held islands Japan calls its Northern Territories and which Russia refers to as the South Kuriles.

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