All papers reported that a group of some 20 South Koreans, including eight parliamentarians, visited Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks) on Monday to inspect patrol facilities there. According to the articles, the GOJ lodged a protest by saying that the visit is unacceptable because it runs counter to Japan’s position. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga voiced “extreme regret” as the visit came amid a “series of moves that are detrimental to bilateral relations.”
In a related development, Sankei wrote that a South Korean maritime research ship has repeatedly intruded in Japan’s territorial waters around Takeshima over the past few days, speculating that the operation was probably aimed at continuously collecting maritime data and intended to reinforce Seoul’s effective control of the contested outcrops. Tokyo reportedly filed a protest against this operation on the grounds that it cannot be construed as “innocent passage” through Japan’s territorial waters as defined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.