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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Bee farmer protests over islands
Some 187,000 bees were used to represent the islands' dimensions

A South Korean bee farmer has covered his body with nearly 200,000 bees in protest over a territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea.

Ahn Sang-gyu, known for his bee performances, had tears running down his face as he was stung 200 times.

He was protesting against Japan's claim to a number of rocky islets located in waters between Japan and South Korea.

Called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese, the area has caused a long-running rift between the nations.

"The honeybee dares to abandon its life when enemies are attempting to attack, to protect its own home. From now on, I hope these bees will contribute to protect our Dokdo", Ahn Sang-Gyu said.

He covered himself in some 187,000 bees to represent the dimensions of the islands, which measure 187,000 square metres.

Disputed lands

The rift threatened to flare up again last month after Japan said it would conduct a maritime survey in waters surrounding the islets.

After negotiations in the South Korean capital Seoul, Japan agreed to cancel the survey after South Korea agreed to drop plans to officially register Korean names for trenches and ridges on the seabed.

There is still deep sensitivity in South Korea over Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

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