Japan on Monday protested South Korea’s maritime survey in waters near Japanese-claimed islands controlled by Seoul.
“The maritime survey South Korea conducted in Japan's exclusive economic zone near the Takeshima Islands is unacceptable as no prior consent was given,” Matsuno Hirokazu, Japan’s top government spokesperson, said at a news conference in Tokyo.
On Sunday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry had said a South Korean research ship from the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency was navigating in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone near the disputed islands.
Hirokazu said Japan has lodged “strong protest” with South Korea through diplomatic channels and demanded “an immediate cessation.”
He said that Seoul has confirmed to Tokyo that research was “underway in the waters.”
“South Korea has not applied for Japan’s consent for the maritime scientific research,” he said, reiterating Japan's claim that Takeshima Islands are “an inherent part of the country's territory in light of history and international law.”
“Our government will continue to urge Seoul to act appropriately, based on Japan’s consistent position on the islands,” he added.
“The South Korean side has stated its own position on the islands, and has told Japan it will confirm what exactly happened regarding the matter,” said Hirokazu, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK news.