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S. Korea's ruling party to tackle Japan's territorial claims over Dokdo

South Korea's ruling party said Saturday that it plans to hold an emergency meeting with the government early next week to discuss how to tackle Japan's repeated territorial claims over Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

Japan approved on Tuesday new middle school textbooks claiming the islets as its territory, drawing a strong protest from the Seoul government.

The Grand National Party said it will hold a meeting with the government on Monday to discuss how to draw up measures to counter Japan's claims and how to bolster South Korea's effective control over the islets.

In a show of strong protest, President Lee Myung-bak pledged on Friday to strengthen South Korea's sovereign control of the islets, saying that Dokdo is "our territory" under any circumstances.

South Koreans are even more angered by the development as it comes amid them donating money and supplies as well as giving support to the Japanese people, who have been suffering from the devastating quake and ensuing tsunami on March 11.

Japanese school textbooks arguing territorial claims over Dokdo or glorifying its wartime history have been considered as thorny issues between the two nations as resentment over Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea still runs deep here.

The approval of the textbooks is expected to throw cold water on bilateral relations, which have improved since the Democratic Party of Japan came to power in 2009 and took symbolic steps to heal the wounds its colonial rule left. (Yonhap News)

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