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S. Korea, Japan renew territorial dispute
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South Koreans give three cheers during a rally to denounce Japan's sovereignty claim over a group of disputed islets on the Dokdo islets July 14, 2008. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Following Moon's statement, South Korea's Presidential Office said that South Korea has reinforced the defense of the islets of Dokdo and will take measures to strengthen its sovereign control of the disputed islets in response to Japan's sovereign claim.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan summoned Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Toshinori Shigeie later in the day and delivered deep regret over Japan's measure during a 10-minute closed-door meeting.

Local media said that the South Korean government is determined to take strong countermeasures, including diplomatic, academic and administrative actions to consolidate South Korea's sovereign control of Dokdo.

The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs announced Monday afternoon a plan to invest 1 billion won, or about 1 million U.S. dollars, to set up an office to manage and support administration and academic research on the islets by the end of 2009.

"The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs will conduct extensive research into the ecosystem, fishing resources and maritime environment in the sea surrounding Dokdo. The ministry will also map out a comprehensive plan to more reasonably manage facilities within the islets," said an official of the ministry.

Officials here said that South Korean academic foundations will hold a series of forums in Seoul to call for international attention to the past record of Japan's historical and territorial distortions.

Demonstrations and protests against Japan's claim to Dokdo are also expected to be held by activists in central Seoul and the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, local media reported.

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