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S. Korea unites in ire over Japan survey on disputed island

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Rival parties united in South Korea to denounce the Japanese government for a survey backing Tokyo's claim to islands in dispute between the two countries.

The Cabinet Office published a survey Thursday showing 60.7 percent of all Japanese said they considered the disputed islands, which Japan calls Takeshima and South Korea calls Dokdo, as their territory historically and under international law, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.

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"We cannot help but be angry at the Japanese government for trying to justify its ridiculous selfishness for Dokdo through a public opinion poll that lacks legitimacy," Rep. Min Hyun-joo of the ruling Saenuri Party said in a statement.

The opposition Democratic Party said a public opinion survey doesn't change the truth about which country can rightfully claim Dokdo.

"[The survey] paradoxically shows the serious consequences of the Japanese government's provocations thus far," Park Yong-jin, a spokesman of the opposition party, said during a press briefing. "The results raise concerns that South Korea-Japan relations will worsen in the future."

Min said the Japanese government "should realize that only a correct history and perception of territory will guarantee future-oriented ties between South Korea and Japan, and it should immediately stop laying territorial claims to Dokdo."

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