Tokyo's groundless territorial claims on Korea's easternmost islet of Dokdo continues to infuriate Seoul.
Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported Jun Matsumoto , Minister of State for Ocean Policy told reporters that Japan holds sovereignty over Dokdo on the basis of historical facts and international law.
Matsumoto's comments came as he was responding to a question on Korea's annual military drill in defending the country's easternmost territory.
The two-day drill kicked off Thursday with Korea's Navy announcing the training is in line with the country's efforts to defend Dokdo from a possible aggression from "outside forces."
Japan has been continuously placing ungrounded sovereignty claims over Korea's Dokdo, hindering any efforts to improve bilateral ties.
The first Dokdo drill under President Moon's administration has garnered attention as there is strong public voice against Japan mainly calling for a renegotiation of the 2015 landmark agreement between Seoul and Tokyo over Japan's wartime sex slavery issue.
The inauguration of a new government in Seoul offered the chance for both sides to see eye-to-eye on working to build future-oriented relations, but Tokyo's ongoing territorial claims are seen as an apparent move that goes against mutual understanding.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.