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Japan seeks Korean agreement over disputed islands

Ownership of these islands, called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, are the topic of heated debate between the two neighbouring nations. Both are jockeying for control of the isles, thought to sit atop vast frozen natural gas deposits. On Tuesday, Japan's cabinet said it planned to approach South Korea to create a joint proposal to go before the International Court of Justice. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the dispute came to a head after South Korea's president toured the islands earlier this month. The international court move is largely symbolic, though, since South Korea would have to support the case for it to be considered. Meanwhile, South Korea legislators met on Tuesday, urging Japan to withdraw its claim over the islands. Seoul is unlikely to support Japan's proposal and take the matter before the international court.

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