South Korean schools to teach children about importance of Dokdo islands

South Korean schoolchildren will receive mandatory classes explaining the South's ownership of a set of islands also claimed by Japan.

Beginning this year, South Korea's Education Ministry said all schools will be required to provide a minimum of 10 hours of classes annually on the importance of the islands

The South Korea-controlled islets in the East Sea are known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan

They are the subject of a bitter and decades-old territorial dispute.

Japan held an annual rally last week to promote its claim to the island chain.

South Korea, which had urged Tokyo to cancel Friday's rally, reacted angrily

Hundreds of activists later staged a protest outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul.