SEOUL, South Korea -- Angered by Japan's refusal to revise controversial history textbooks, South Korea on Thursday ended military exchanges and canceled a planned visit to Tokyo by a top defense official.
South Korea also revoked permission for two Japanese navy drill ships to make a port call at Incheon in September. The Japanese vessels carrying graduating naval academy cadets left Japan in April for a navigation exercise to 13 Asian countries.
Anti-Japanese sentiment has risen sharply here this week after Japan formally rejected South Korea's demand to revise eight middle school history textbooks that Seoul believes whitewash Japan's atrocities during World War II.
South Korea is particularly upset by the failure of those textbooks to mention tens of thousands of Korean and other Asian women who were forced to serve as sexual slaves for Japanese soldiers during the war.
"We believe that South Korea-Japanese military exchanges have to proceed on the basis of a correct understanding of history and mutual trust with the support of the peoples of the two countries," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
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