SKorea protests Japan textbook claim on disputed islets

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Japan's textbook claim on a set of disputed islets in the east of South Korea has snowballed in a fresh diplomatic offensive between Tokyo and Seoul.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday rejected claims of Japan that Dokdo islets belonged to Tokyo, local news agency Yonhap reported.

The report said that Japan approved fresh school textbooks for elementary classes which lay claim over Dokdo islets that are located in the east of South Korea.

"The [South Korean] Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Japan to retract the measure, emphasizing that the islets in the East Sea belong to South Korea," Yonhap said.

"The government strongly condemns the Japanese government's authorization of the elementary school textbooks, including its unjustifiable claim to Dokdo, which is clearly our indigenous territory by history, geography and international law," Kim In-chul, a spokesman for South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.

The statement came after Japan's Education Ministry today allowed schools to use a dozen of social studies textbooks which lay claim over the South Korea's easternmost islets Dokdo.

The text books will be used as of next year and taught to fourth to sixth graders.

"Japan will have to recognize that such textbooks will bring about a negative impact on the future-oriented development of relations between the two nations," Kim added.

Korea, a colony of Japan from 1910 to 1945, are traditionally sensitive to Japanese leaders' words or actions related to history and territorial issues.

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