Photos of Japan’s prime minister Yoshihiko Noda were burned on Thursday by South Korean activists near the Japanese embassy in Seoul.
The protests started after the education ministry in Japan announced this week it finished the review of a school history book and that it continued to support Japan’s claims to the islets in the Sea of Japan disputed by the two countries.
Four placards with Noda’s image were set on fire by about 60 activists, who also sang political slogans.
South Korea also expressed disappointment at an official level. A foreign ministry spokesman said that Japan’s approval of the school was “very regrettable”.
The islets are known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese. While South Korea complains of history distortion and asks for compensations for Japanese soldiers’ sexual abuses over Korean women during the WW2, Japan considers that all its colonial issues were settled as early as 1965 through a compensation agreement.