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Korea-Japan sea survey scheduled next month

Sept 17,2006
South Korea and Japan have decided to jointly conduct a survey on radioactivity in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) in October, including waters surrounding the islets of Dokdo, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday.
Japan also claims the islets, calling them Takeshima.
The survey, aimed at assessing the degree of radioactive waste dumped by the former Soviet Union from the 1950s to the 1990s off its eastern port of Vladivostok, will be conducted Oct. 7-14, the ministry said. Depending on weather conditions, the research period could be extended.
Two vessels, one from each nation, will be dispatched. Three experts from Seoul will be on board the Japanese vessel and vice versa. The two nations will share collected data, the ministry said.
Under the agreement, the two nations will also seek to invite representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency in their survey, it said.
The two neighboring nations are in dispute over where to draw their exclusive economic zone lines in the sea, due to the dispute over the islets. The schedule and related details of the survey were decided after a two-day meeting of working-level officials in Tokyo that ended Saturday, the ministry said.
In July, Tokyo informed Seoul of a plan to conduct the survey, including waters near the islets, unilaterally, which Seoul opposed. The two sides held a vice ministerial meeting and a working-level meeting in early September and concluded they would conduct the research together.


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