Allies to Kan give support to S. Korea in island dispute

Japans Prime Minister Naoto Kan suffered a fresh political blow Thursday as one of his allies was found to have supported South Korea in a bitter territorial row between the two countries.Ryuichi Doi, a lawmaker and adviser to Kans study group in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, admitted he inadvertently signed a document at a political gathering in Seoul which backed the South Korean claim to disputed islands.

The document in part called for former coloniser Japan to renounce its sovereignty claims to a group of South Korea-controlled islets, known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea."I did not closely examine" the text, the 72-year-old politician told a news conference a day after his apparently unpatriotic act drew fire in local media."I wish to apologise to the nation and the people concerned," Doi said, offering to give up his posts as chairman of the lower house panel on political ethics and as the head of a party executive council.

Read the rest of the story: Japan PM faces heat in S. Korea island row.

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