SEOUL, May 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Tuesday denounced Japan for its repeated territorial claims to Dokdo islets, called Takeshima in Japan, lying halfway between the two countries.
Seoul's foreign ministry said in a statement that it strongly protests against the Japanese government repeating its illegitimate sovereignty over Dokdo islets, which it said is an indigenous territory of South Korea.
The statement strongly urged Japan to immediately drop the claim, which was laid through Japan's annual diplomatic report called Diplomatic Blue Paper that was submitted earlier in the day to its cabinet.
The Seoul statement said the Japanese government should recognize that its repetition of the unjust and ludicrous claim will be of no help to building future-oriented relations between Seoul and Tokyo.
The statement made it clear that Japan's futile claim over Dokdo will have no influence on South Korea's sovereignty over the islets, which it said is part of South Korea's territory historically, geographically and under international law.
It added that South Korea will sternly deal with any Japanese provocation against Dokdo.
South Korea restored its sovereignty over the Dokdo islets after its liberation in 1945 from the Japanese colonization. Seoul has since maintained a small police detachment there.
South Korean people regard Japan's territorial claim over the islets as its denial of the wartime history as Dokdo is the very first territory that was forcibly occupied by the Imperial Japan.