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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korea holds drill around Takeshima islets amid Japan protest

Japan chief cabinet secretary calls move 'unacceptable and extremely regrettable'

A set of remote islands called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese is seen in this picture taken from a helicopter in 2012.    © Reuters

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- South Korea's military and maritime police began a joint defense exercise on Tuesday around a group of islets in the Sea of Japan, local media reported, with Japan protesting the move around the outcroppings it claims.

The South Korean-controlled islets are called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea. South Korea conducts the drill twice a year, usually in June and December.

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