Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will hold a news conference on Friday to express his views on the territorial dispute over the Takeshima islets. Noda wrote a letter to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak following Lee's recent visit to the Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan. They are called Dokdo in South Korea. The letter calls for a peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute in accordance with international law.The South Korean government refused to accept the letter and returned it to Japan.

An official from the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo visited the Japanese Foreign Ministry on Thursday, but was denied entry. The South Korean government sent back the letter by mail later in the day.
The Japanese government says it cannot accept South Korea's response to the territorial dispute.

In addition, Lee recently said that if Japan's Emperor wishes to visit South Korea, he should offer a heartfelt apology to Koreans who died fighting for independence from Japan.Noda told a Diet committee on Thursday that the comment lacks common sense.Japanese authorities say they have not proposed to Korean officials that the Emperor visit the country. They plan to clarify South Korea's stance through diplomatic channels.

Japan's lower house  adopted resolutions protesting the South Korean president's recent visit to Takeshima and Hong Kong activists' landing on one of the Senkaku Islands. Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan are claimed by Japan and South Korea. The Senkakus in the East China Sea are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan.The two resolutions submitted by the governing Democratic Party and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and others were adopted on Friday with majority support mainly from the two parties.

One of the resolutions condemns the August 10th visit by Lee Myung-bak to Takeshima. The islets are called Dokdo in South Korea.The resolution demands that South Korea's illegal occupation of the islets stop as soon as possible. It also calls on Japan's government to take a firm attitude against South Korea by formulating and implementing effective policies.

The resolution also refers to Lee's recent remark that if Japan's emperor wishes to visit South Korea he should offer a heartfelt apology to Koreans who died for independence from Japan. The resolution says such comments will not be tolerated and demands a retraction.The other resolution condemns the Hong Kong activists' landing on the Senkakus. It calls on Japan's government to strengthen security measures and take all necessary measures to secure the islands under effectual control.The resolutions are the first regarding Takeshima since 1953, and the first ever on the Senkaku Islands.Media agencies


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