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Japan adds foreign ministry Web page to step up Dokdo claim

Japan added a new Web page on the foreign ministry's official website to step up its sovereignty claim to the easternmost South Korean islets of Dokdo, according to the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Tuesday.

The new page was added to the ministry's website last Friday under the front-page tab titled "Japanese Territory," according to the embassy and the English-language version of the website.

The new Web page is a compilation of previous ministry Web pages focused on Japan's territorial conflicts with three nations:

Dokdo with South Korea, and other islands with China and Russia.

The embassy said that the new page was added to better inform homepage readers.

In the Dokdo section of the page, labeled as Takeshima, the Japanese name for the South Korean islets, the ministry claimed, "Takeshima is indisputably an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based on international law.

"The Republic of Korea has been occupying Takeshima with no basis in international law. Any measures the Republic of Korea takes regarding Takeshima based on such an illegal occupation have no legal justification," the ministry said, vowing to "continue to seek the settlement of the dispute of the territorial sovereignty on the basis of international law."

A South Korean foreign ministry official called the claims on the new Web page "a repetition of Japan's previous absurd claims," saying, "Dokdo is our own territory in terms of history, geography and international law."

Japan has renewed its claim to the set of rocky islets after its nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power last year.

South Korea voiced "strong regret" last week after the Japanese government approved new elementary school textbooks that contain stronger territorial claims to the South Korean islets.

South Korea rejects Japan's territorial claims because Seoul regained its independence from Japanese colonial rule and reclaimed sovereignty over its territories, including Dokdo and many other islands around the Korean Peninsula. South Korea keeps a small police detachment on the islets. (Yonhap)

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