By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Japan on Wednesday reiterated its claim over disputed islands in the Sea of Japan, rejecting a protest lodged by South Korea over “inclusion of these islets in an online map for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics”, according to media reports.
"We told the South Korean side that, in view of our stance on the sovereignty of Takeshima and the Sea of Japan, it was totally unacceptable," The Mainichi, a Japanese daily, quoted Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as saying.
Japan calls the disputed islets as “Takeshima”, while South Korea calls them “Dokdo”. The islands are controlled by South Korea.
Japan will host the Olympics in 2020 and preparations are ongoing for the massive event which will witness tens of hundreds of sports participants, officials and fans traveling to Tokyo.
“The map on the official website for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee shows torch relay routes across the country and the islets appear on it,” the daily said.
Also, Tokyo on Tuesday slammed South Korea for “taking action” against Russian plane for allegedly violating air space over the disputed islets.
"Takeshima is Japan's territory," Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono had said.
"It is Japan that should take action against the Russian plane that entered its airspace. It is incompatible with Japan's stance that South Korea takes steps on that," he added.
The bilateral relations between two close allies of U.S. are at all time low after Japan restricted export of three vital electronic equipment to South Korea on July 4.
The move was seen as retaliation by Tokyo against Seoul’s insistence of paying compensation to wartime victims as ruled by a Korean court last October.
Tokyo has refused to oblige the ruling saying the issue of compensation was closed during 1965 bilateral pact.