South Korea has banned three Japanese lawmakers from entering the country after they arrived at a Seoul airport in an attempt to travel near disputed islands.
South Korea's foreign ministry said Monday that the lawmakers from Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party were stopped when they tried to leave Seoul's Gimpo airport.
The lawmakers had planned to visit an island that sits close to a set of outcroppings called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese that are claimed by both countries.
The ministry cited a law prohibiting entry of anyone who could harm South Korea's national interests.
South Korean protesters threw pepper, curry sauce and salt at an arrival gate but the lawmakers were protected inside the airport.