Japanese foreign ministry called the drills unacceptable and said it had lodged a protest with South Korea calling for them to end the drills [South Korea Navy via Getty Images]

South Korean forces have begun two days of expanded drills around an island also claimed by Japan, prompting a protest from Tokyo only days after Seoul said it would scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with its neighbour amid worsening relations.

Tokyo and Seoul have long been at loggerheads over the sovereignty of the group of islets called Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, which lie about halfway between the East Asian neighbours in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

The latest military drills that started on Sunday included naval,

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