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Japan rejects S. Korea's protest over islets on Tokyo Olympics map

This photo taken in October 2012 shows one of the two main islands of the South Korea-controlled Dokdo islets, known in Japan as Takeshima. (The Washington Post/Getty/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan has rejected South Korea's protest through a diplomatic channel over the inclusion of disputed islets on an online map for the Tokyo Olympics' torch relay, the top government spokesman said Wednesday.

    "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," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference, referring to the Japanese name of the disputed islets.

    The islets in the Sea of Japan have been controlled by South Korea, which calls them Dokdo.

    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.

    Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have sharply deteriorated recently due to a dispute over compensation for wartime labor and a trade spat over Japan's imposition of tighter controls on some South Korea-bound exports of materials used in making semiconductors and displays.

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