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Suga says Japan will lodge protest over ROK plan to conduct marine research near Liancourt Rocks

NHK, TBS, and Fuji TV reported today that it was learned that the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency is planning to conduct unmanned marine surveys using wave gliders in waters near the Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima) in Shimane Prefecture, which are claimed by Japan, and Ulleungdo island to their west, which is South Korean territory, and has posted an online invitation for bids on the project worth 2 billion won (approximately $1.77 million). In response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga said at a news conference this morning that inviting bids for the survey project in a sea area that is part of Japan’s territorial waters is “absolutely unacceptable.” He said that Japan will confirm the report with the ROK through diplomatic channels and will lodge a strong protest and demand the immediate suspension of the project. NHK said the issue may further aggravate already strained bilateral relations.

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