South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said South Korea cannot accept Tokyo's claims that the Dokdo islets are its own, saying Dokdo is South Korean territory historically, geographically and under international law.
The rejection of Japan's ownership claims came in a statement issued Tuesday after a Russian aircraft violated the islets’ airspace, prompting both Seoul and Tokyo to scramble fighter jets in response.
The ministry added that Seoul dismissed a protest lodged by Japan through a diplomatic channel.
Tokyo earlier on Tuesday lodged the complaint against South Korea as well as Russia over the incident, saying that Japan cannot accept such activities in “its territory.”
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a regular media briefing on Tuesday that the Russian aircraft violated Japanese territory near Dokdo two times, referring to Dokdo as Takeshima, the name Japan gives to South Korea's islets.
Tuesday’s incident may exacerbate tensions between South Korea and Japan in the midst of an ongoing trade dispute between the two.