South Korean lawmakers visit disputed islets as Japan tensions mount

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TOKYO/SEOUL: A group of South Korean lawmakers visited islands disputed with Japan, sparking a protest from the Japanese foreign ministry as the ...

TOKYO/SEOUL: A group of South Korean lawmakers visited islands disputed with Japan, sparking a protest from the Japanese foreign ministry as the countries' already tense relationship deteriorates further.

Six Korean lawmakers on Saturday flew to the islets, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan, in part to protest Japanese curbs on shipments of essential components for making smartphone chips, South Korea's chief export.

Japan's foreign ministry has lodged a"stern" protest over the visit. In its statement, the ministry said the Korean lawmakers had ignored Japan's previous demand that the plan be scrapped, and called the visit"extremely regrettable". The islands are Japan's inherent territory in terms of both history and international law, the ministry said.

Relations between South Korea and Japan are at the lowest in years after a row over compensation for wartime forced labourers during Japan's occupation of Korea until end of World War II.

 

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