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As the island dispute between South Korea and Japan escalates, Japan is stepping up its protest against South Korea’s claims to the disputed territory.
South Korea has raised the alert on what it calls the Dokdo Islands and plans to extend its naval capability to match Japan’s naval self defense force. All this follows a visit by the South Korean president’s visit to the islands, and the unveiling of a monument on one of the islets.
Tension between Japan and South Korea is running high. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has met with relevant government departments and has decided to bring the issue to the international court of justice. It’s postponed a meeting later this month between Japan and South Korean finance ministers, and may not extend an existing currency swap agreement with South Korea.
South Korea has heightened security on the islands, with the aim of preventing Japanese activists from landing on the islets.
It says it’s stepped up police defensive exercises and will increase a police presence on the island. South Korean authorities warn that if Japanese nationals land on the islands, they’re ready to mobilise coast guard personnel. It’s also announced the building of a second amphibious attack ship to match Japan’s self defense force.
Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Noda sent a letter to South Korea’s President Lee Myung Bak, describing his visit to the islands as "regrettable".
A South Korean government official said South Korea has plans to send a response letter to Japan, reiterating its stance on the issue, after observing Japan’s actions.