The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

S. Korean MPs visit disputed islands, likely to stoke Tokyo tensions


SEOUL (AFP) - A group of South Korean lawmakers on Tuesday visited an isolated set of islands at the heart of a territorial dispute with Japan - a move likely to further stoke tensions with Tokyo.

Seventeen members of the parliamentary National Defence Committee flew to the Dokdo islands - known as Takeshima in Japan - on military helicopters for a day-long visit, an aide to committee member Han Ki Ho said.

The trip - labelled a government inspection session - was aimed at checking security measures around the islands guarded by the South's coastguard, the aide told AFP.

On Monday, Japan's chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura had called on the Seoul MPs to cancel their visit, warning it would jeopardise bilateral ties.