‘Dokdo’ Islands of the Republic of Korea
독도는 대한민국(Republic of Korea)의 아름다운 섬입니다.
The Dokdo(Tok-do means Tok islands) Islands, nothing more than a group of some isles and rocks, are located about 217km off South Korea, and 157.5km away from the Japanese island Oki, about 87km off from Uleunung-do Island, and are an administrative part of that island. The island can be seen in naked eyes from Ulleungdo but not from Oki island in Japan. The exact position is given with 37°14’22″N and 131°52’08″E. The group of two larger isles<East(Dong) and West(Seo) islands> and several(32) smaller ones are composited of limestone, erupted from the deep of the sea(East Sea), millions of years ago. Dong-do is a steep-sided isle 98.6 m high, and Seo-do is cliffy and rises to 168.5 meters. Both isles, about 150 meters distant, are the remainders of an ancient crater, broken in several parts. At the south-east side of Dokdo, there are several deep caves formed by the erosion from the sea.
Dokdo Islands are a special refuge for several rare birds, and several, partly endemic plants. In one of the last scientific expeditions to the isles in 1984, there were found about 22 species of nesting birds and about 50 species of plants, of which 21 species are endemic. There are only small plants, mostly low plants, grass and several species of moose.
The administrative address of Dokdo is : San#1～37, Dokdo-ri, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun(County), Gyeongsangbuk-do(Province) which has been officially reconfirmed since April 7, 2000.
The gross area of Dokdo is about 180.902㎡(Dong-do<East isle> covers an area of 67.179 ㎡; Seo-do<West islet>, 95,008㎡; attached islets to Dokdo, 18.715㎡), and the number of the attached islands is 32. Dokdo is a state demesne and under control of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Fisheries of the Republic of Korea.
Dokdo consists of about 34 islands, its address is San#1～37, Dokdo-ri, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun(county), Gyeongsangbuk-do(Province), Republic of Korea.
The first resident in Dokdo is Choi Jong-deok and his address was San#67, Dodong-ri, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung county, Gyeongsangbuk-do(Province). He who was a resident of Ulleungdo went to the island in March, 1965 to catch marine products and started to construct necessary buildings in Dokdo in May, 1968. He was registered as a Dokdo resident on October 14, 1981 and died in Dokdo on September 23, 1987. Since then his son-in-law, Jo Jun-gi moved in the same address and lived there until he moved to the address, San#63. He moved out from the island on March 31, 1994. The present residents are the couple Gim Seong-do and Gim Sin-yeol who have been living at the address San#63 since November 17, 1991. Their main job is fishery. Mr. Choi Jong-deok, the first resident of Dokdo, entered the island and stayed there to get some marine products. In 1980 when the Japanese government persisted again territory rights of Dokdo, he wanted to be the only person to reside in the island to prove Dokdo is Korean territory, and then he changed his resident registration to the address San#67, Dodong of Dokdo.
Staying in Dokdo, Mr. Choi developed a way of artificial insemination of abalones, invented a special fishing net, and digged a well called ‘mulgol’ in the middle area of Seodo. Mr. Jo Jun-gi, the son-in-law of Mr. Choi Jong-deok, was originally a resident of Uleungdo and inherited the gathering right of marine products from his father-in-law in July, 1986. He has now moved to Donghae-shi(city), Gangwon-do(Province). Mr. Gim Seong-do is the present resident of Dokdo who has moved to the island for fishery since November, 1991.
General economic value. golden fishing grounds near Dokdo. The sea area near Dokdo is well known as abundant fishing grounds.
Plankton abounds in this sea area where a cold current from the north and a warm current from the south intersect each other and various kinds of fishes are found in schools.
Migratory fish such as salmon, trouts and cods and the Alaska pollack, saury, and cuttlefish make main source of residents’ income in Dokdo. Especially during winter fish-luring lights make the sea area near Dokdo broad day-like bright.
There are also abundant sea plants such as sea tangle, brown seaweed, conches and abalones growing on submerged rocks and they are another income source to the fishermen. Moreover a research team of Seoul National University proved that the ecosystem of Dokdo forms a particular ecosystem which is similar to that of the subtropical zone or the Mediterranean sea.
The Dokdo islands were first mapped and described in the early 13th century, and were administrated by the Silla Dynasty, the 13th year of king Jizeung’s reign of the Silla Dynasty when Dokdo and Ulleungdo were incorporated into the Silla territory. Documents from this time show that the rocks seams to be known round 512 and named as U’san-Do. Close later Yi Sa-Bu mapped them and take them to Ulnung-Do Administration. There is a record that a general named Yi Sa-bu of the Silla Dynasty period conquered Ulleungdo and reverted it to the Silla Dynasty, and the Dynasty received special products from Ulleungdo every year. When the general Yi Sa-bu disciplined Ulleungdo, where the residents were wild and tough, he invented an idea to get them in an easier way. He let a lot of scarecrows shipped on boats and approached the coast of Ulleungdo. “Unless you surrender, I will let all these wild lions run into and kill you.” By his threat, the residents of the island easily surrendered and paid tribute every year.
One of the first disputes round the island is sayed to take place in 1592, when some Japanese sailors wanted to climb the rocks, but were fought away by a Korean gun-boat. In 1705 the French navigator and scientist G.Drill visited the islands and declared, that, after studying all papers, the islands are a part of Korea. The first scientific expedition was made in 1791 by the British Captain James Collet, who landed as on the East, as on the West Islet. In 1905 Japan set his banner on the rocks, and annexed them. In 1945 the UN declared Dokdo as not a part of Japan (Resolution SCAPIN 677), and Japan had to return them to Korea. In 1954 South Korea built up a concrete lighthouse and a concrete building with a helicopter landing on the East Islet. Between 1949 till today Japan declared several times that Dokdo, named in Japan as Takeshima, is a part of Japan and South Korea protested against this act of territorial claim.
According to a true record of the Joseon Dynasty, it is recorded that Dokdo and Ulleungdo are located to the east of Uljin county and in the middle of the east sea, and Dokdo is to be seen from Ulleungdo in sunny days because it is not far away from Ulleungdo. Dokdo is also called Usanguk. According to another record of the Joseon Dynasty, when the residents of Dokdo were asked to move to Ulleungdo in 1439, the 21th year of king Sejong’s reign, they refused it. During king Seongjong’s reign, Dokdo was called Sambongdo, and during king Sukjong’s reign it was called Jasando. It was also called Gajido during king Jeongjo’s reign.
There is a record to say that when the Japanese fishermen were revealed to do fishing in the coastal sea of Dokdo and Ulleungdo in 1693, the 19th year of king Sukjong’s reign, a Korean fisherman named An Yong-bok went to Japan and affirmed Dokdo is the Korean territory with the request to ban the Japanese fishermen’s doing fishery in the neighboring sea of Dokdo and Ulleungdo.
Since 1876 the Japanese fishermen again appeared and did fishery in the coastal sea of Dokdo and Ulleungdo, the Joseon Dynasty made a severe protest and took apology from Japan in 1881, the 18th year of king Gojong’s reign. During the Joseon Dynasty, Dokdo was clearly recognized on the basis of geographical knowledge and belonged to the local administration system.
Since August 15, 1945, when Korea was liberated from Japanese ruling, the Korean government allowed to do academic research on Dokdo and in January, 1952, president Lee Seung-man proclaimed a presidential declaration on the dominion over the coastal sea and involved Dokdo with the peace line.
On April 20, 1953, Hong Sun-chil and other 32 men organized a voluntary guard of Dokdo and expelled the Japanese people who landed on Dokdo without permission and kept the duty until 1956 when they took over their voluntary guard to the Ulleung police station.
On August 15, 1954, for the first time a lighthouse was built in Dokdo and informed it to the every foreign country and a map of Dokdo drawn on a scale of 1 to 3,000 was finished from December, 1961 to February, 1962. The Korean History Society published A Research on Ulleungdo and Dokdo in 1978 and the Korean government made maps of Dokdo drawn on a scale of 1 to 1,000 and of 1 to 5,000.
So it is clear that Dokdo has been the Korean territory since 512, the 13th year of kin Jizeung’ reign of the Silla Dynasty, and the Japanese map expert, Hayasi Shihei(1738-93) also admits Dokdo is the Korean territory in his book, Sangokutsurandusetsu(三國通覽圖說) written in 1785.
The name of Dokdo
Usanguk, previous name of Ulleungdo, which was established by the natives of the island was reverted to Shilla in the early 6th century(512) and it is recorded in the historical documents of the Silla Dynasty.
When the name Usanguk was changed to the name Uleungdo, the name Usan moved to an annexed island(Dokdo) which became to get the name since. In the true records of history during the Joseon Dynasty there are statements that Usando and Ulleungdo stand in the middle of the east sea in Uljin county.
Dokdo was called Sambongdo, Usando and Gajido, during the Joseon Dynasty and it was described with the name Usan beside Ulりeungdo in the textbook of 1899. In 1900 Dokdo became to belong to Ganwon province by command of king Gojong.
The name Dokdo was first used in 1906 by magistrate of Ulleung county, Shim Hong-taek, and according to the reorganization of administration district in 1914, Dokdo has belonged to Gyeongsangbuk-do(Province) until today. The meaning of Dokdo doesn’t say ‘lonely island’ or ‘desolate island’, but mean ‘dolseom(stony or rocky island)’. Still the residents in Dokdo pronounce the island as ‘dokseom’ or ‘dolseom’.
While Japan calls Dokdo ‘dakesima’ or ‘matsuma’, the French whaleboat named it as Liancourt Rock coming after the ship’s name when they found it first in 1849 and the British warship named it Hornet Rock also coming after the ship’s name and registered in their sea map in 1885.
– The Resolution of the Prefectural Ordinance on the so-called “Takeshima day” by the Shimane Prefectural Assembly, Japan –
Based on geographical nearness, the Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do and the Shimane Prefecture have developed long-lasting exchanges.
Both regions have contributed to promoting the friendly ties and exchanges of goodwill between the two countries through cooperation and exchanges for the past 15 years since the establishment of the arrangement on sisterhood on October 6, 1989.
If the Shimane prefectural assembly forced to pass the resolution on the ordinance to designate this day as the so-called “Takeshima day”, with a growing sense of concern of the Korean government and Korean People, it will be regarded as an aggressive act against Dokdo which clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Korea historically as well as in international law, deserting mutual trust and friendship with the Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do hitherto.
IMPEACHING such an act of the Shimane Prefecture in the name of all the Korean people,
NOW THEREFORE, I, the Governor of the Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do, the Republic of Korea, proclaim domestically and internationally as follows :
Dokdo administratively belongs to Ulleungdo, Dokdo’s address is San 1-37, Dokdo-ri, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun(County), Gyeongsangbuk-do(Province), Republic of Korea.
Historically speaking, Dokdo was called Usan-guk(Usan State) in 512 A.D., and currently is called Dokdo, for the past 1500 years. It has been under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Korea under the supervision of Korean ancestors.
For thousands of years, Dokdo has been an important area for the people of the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do as a fishery zone and is a beautiful island under the jurisdiction of Gyeongsangbuk-do, in an effort to preserve the ecosystem of Dokdo with habitats of a variety of biomass etc. Ecologically, the government of the Republic of Korea designated it as a natural monument.
Today, such an aggressive act of the Shimane Prefectural Assembly which intended to violate the Gyeongsangbuk-do citizens’ treasure and property is a rash act unprecedented in international diplomatic relations between local governments and a challenge against the sovereign state and an outrage against humanity. That’s why it should be accused.
This year is designated as Korea-Japan Friendship Year by the two countries and a series of goodwill events are scheduled, it is intolerable that a series of aggressive acts committed by Japan. That is just like an act of betrayal, so called “camouflage diplomacy” that is, “a honeyed tongue, but a heart of gall”.
The Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do gave a serious warning against such an act of the Shimane Prefecture through repeated protests and statements, but this day, its Assembly committed such rash acts. It demonstrates that the Shimane Prefecture has no intention of keeping the friendly ties and friendship.
THEREFORE, I clearly state that the Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do shall withdraw the sister-city relations and proclaim the rupture of the bilateral exchanges with the Shimane prefecture.
In the future, the Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do will make every effort to protect the territory of the Republic of Korea with all the Korean nationals, and frame a wide range of policies to protect Dokdo, which is a beautiful island under the jurisdiction of Gyeongsangbuk-do.
March 16, 2005
Governor of Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do. Republic of Korea.
Japan’s Claim on Dokdo Historically, Legally Wrong
This is the first in a three-part contribution by renowned history professor Shin Yong-ha on 10 reasons why Dokdo belongs to Korea. He has published a booklet called “A Story of Dokdo Island, A Korean Territory’’ to counter Japanese attempts to lay claim to the islets.
By Prof. Shin Yong-ha, President of the Dokdo Research and Preservation Association
Dokdo has been and still is Korean territory _ from the standpoint of history and international law.
Despite Japan’s claim on the island, there is a world of difference between actual possession and a claim.
Accordingly, it can be argued that there exists no dispute between Korea and Japan regarding the occupational right of Dokdo since there is only a unilateral claim from the Japanese side.
In 1946, the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, ruled Dokdo as Korean territory and returned it to the United States military administration in Korea.
When the Republic of Korea was formed on August 15, 1948, the Korean government immediately took back its territorial right over Dokdo from the U.S. military.
On December 12, 1948, Korea obtained the international legal right to govern its current territories including Dokdo when it was formally recognized as a sovereign state by the United Nations.
In 1950, the Allied forces clearly stated that the Republic of Korea shall be given “all rights and titles to Dokdo (then known as Liancourt Rocks) and all other islands and islets to which Japan had acquired…’’ when they were working on a draft, called the Agreement Respecting the Disposition of Former Japanese Territories. There was an accompanying map to prove that Dokdo exists just outside the Japanese territorial line.
When Japan noticed this, they began an aggressive lobbying campaign to have the Allies drop the clause from the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The Japanese, without any legal ground, even offered to provide Dokdo as a radar base and meteorological observatory for the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. government finally buckled under the intensive Japanese lobbying effort and then came up with a revised version that deliberately indicated in its 6th draft that Dokdo was Japanese territory. However, other “associated powers’’ such as Great Britain, New Zealand, and Australia disagreed with the U.S. version. So the name of Dokdo was not mentioned in the 7th to the 9th draft of the agreement.
Finally, Article 2 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, ratified in September 1951, did not mention Dokdo while stating that Japan shall transfer all rights of sovereignty to Korea including Cheju, Komun and Ulleung islands. Here the Japanese imperialists found a hole in the treaty, claiming that the Allied powers recognized Dokdo as Japanese territory.
Since 1954, Japan has been trying to take the issue of Dokdo to the International Court of Justice as part of its scheme to usurp Korea’s sovereign right to the island.
But as we observed above, the Japanese allegation is wrong, both historically and morally. As all the historical facts and records show, Dokdo has been an annexed part of Ulleung Island. Once the Allied powers recognized Ulleung Island as Korean territory, Dokdo should have become part of the Korean territory automatically. It is also true that thousands of other Korean offshore islands that are not named in the peace treaty cannot and should not belong to Japan.
So it is not the right thing for Japan to ask for a review of Dokdo’s status in the International Court of Justice. It is preposterous that Japan is trying to swing history in the opposite direction. In the forthcoming series of articles, I would like to explain to our readers “10 reasons why Dokdo belongs to Korea.’’
For more information on Dokdo in English and other foreign languages, visit www.dokdoinkorea.com.
History Shows Dokdo Is Part of Korea
By Prof. Shin Yong-ha, President of Dokdo Research and Preservation Association
1. Dokdo has been Korean territory since 512 A.D. Dokdo became Korean territory when Usanguk was annexed to Silla in 512, the 13th year of King Chizung.
According to Sillabongi and Yoljon from “Samguksagi,” the history book about Korea’s three ancient kingdoms, Usanguk was an ancient island kingdom consisting of Ulleungdo and Dokdo(Usando).
The fact that Usanguk was made up of Ullungdo and Dokdo(Usando) was recorded in various ancient documents and maps, such as “Sejongsillokjiriji” published in 1432, “Tonggukyojisungnam” (1481), “Sinjung- Tonggukyojisungnam” (1531), and “Kunjong of Mangiyoram” (1808).
In addition, Dokdo was also called Usando up until the late 19th century, clearly proving that Dokdo (Usando) was Usanguk territory.
2. French geologist D’Anville’s Map of Joseon (Royaume de Coree) records Dokdo as Korean territory.
The fact that Dokdo(Usando) and Ulleungdo belonged to the Joseon Kingdom was well known not only to Japan but also to the West.
In 1737, famous French geologist D’Anville’s “Map of Joseon(Royaume de Coree)” marked Dokdo (Usando) as a territory of Joseon. Ullengdo and Dokdo were drawn very close to the East Sea of Korea.
In Sinjung-tonggukyojisungnam, Usando (Dokdo) was drawn closer to the peninsula than Ulleungdo, emphasizing that Dokdo belonged to Joseon(Korea).
3. Ancient Japanese documents and maps mark Dokdo as Korean territory.
“Eunjusicheonghapgi,” published by Japanese government in 1667, which they claimed was the first document that recorded Dokdo, actually recorded that Ullengdo (Takeshima in Japanese then) and Dokdo(Matsushima in Japanese then) belonged to Goryo and that the northwestern border of Japan is at Okishima.
Japanese scholar of practical science Hayashi Shihei(林 子平)published “Map of Three Adjoining Countries” in 1785, which showed each country in distinct colors – Joseon in yellow and Japan in green.
In it, Ulleungdo and Dokdo(Usando), in the middle of the East Sea, were not only colored yellow but marked as Joseon territory.
4. Japanese government reconfirms Dokdo and Ulleungdo as Korean territory at the end of 17th century.
During the Japanese invasion of the Joseon Kingdom from 1592 to 1598, the Japanese army invaded Ulleungdo and Dokdo, killing civilians and stealing their property.
In order to minimize the further loss of human lives, the royal court of Joseon enforced its “empty island policy,” ordering its people to evacuate the islands for safety.
In the meantime, Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan secretly gave two Japanese fishermen families “permission to cross to Takeshima” to cross to Ulleungdo in 1618 and “permission to cross to Matsushima” to Dokdo in 1656, which allowed them to go abroad.
So, Japanese fishermen landed in Ulleungdo. Soon afterward in 1693, conflicts arose between them and the Korean fishermen, which included Ahn Yong-bok. The lord of the Japanese island, Tsushima, took a central role in the conflict and instigated a diplomatic dispute to make Dokdo Japanese territory for several years.
The Joseon government maintained a consistent and strong stance on its sovereignty over the islands, and Japan finally gave up.
In January 1696, the administrator of Japan’s Tokugawa Shogunate reaffirmed that Ulleungdo and Dokdo belonged to Joseon.
Accordingly, Japan forbade Japanese fishermen from fishing around these islands, and nullified “permission to cross to Takeshima” and “permission to cross to Matsushima.” Ahn Yong-bok, a Korean fisherman from Dongnae, participated in securing Ulleungdo and Dokdo from Japan during this time.
Korea Regains Control of Dokdo in 1945
By Prof. Shin Yong-ha, President of Dokdo Research and Preservation Association
5. Japanese official document “Meiji Restoration” in the 19th century confirms that Dokdo belongs to Korea.
Tokugawa Shogunate finished in January 1868 and the Meiji Restoration began. The new government’s prime minister and foreign minister dispatched high officials of the Foreign Office to the Joseon Kingdom (Korea) for secret investigation of 14 items in December 1869.
There was an order to investigate “a circumstance that Ullengdo and Dokdo belong to Joseon.” The foreign minister and the prime mister, the highest Japanese government positions at that time, knew Ulleungdo and Dokdo belonged to Joseon.
The report on the secret investigation was “the secret report investigation on Joseon’s national association” in 1870 and it is mentioned in “Japan’s diplomatic note,” the third volume published in the 1930s by the Foreign Office of Japan. This is clear evidence that Japan also officially recognized Ulleungdo and Dokdo as Korean territory.
6. Japan’s Department of the Interior reconfirms Dokdo as Korean territory.
In 1876, Japan’s Department of the Interior ordered each province to create and send its own map and land registration map in order to make maps of Japan.
At that time, the Shimane Prefecture sent an inquiry to the Department of the Interior asking whether it should include Ulleungdo and Dokdo in the East Sea. Japan’s Department of the Interior conducted an investigation for five months and confirmed that Ulleungdo and Dokdo belonged to Joseon and thus were unrelated to Japan.
However, citing the importance of the matter, the Department of the Interior decided to defer to the highest state organ, the prime minister, for the final decision on the issue.
7. The highest state organ of Japan (prime minister) concludes that Dokdo and Ulleungdo are Korean territory.
Japanese prime minister reviewed the Department of the Interior’s consultation and on March 20, 1877, reconfirmed that Ulleungdo and Dokdo belonged to Joseon and sent an official order “to keep in mind that Ulleungdo and Dokdo are irrelevant to Japan” to Japan’s Department of the Interior.
On April 9, 1877, the Department of the Interior sent this official order to Shimane and ordered it to delete the two islands from its map since Ulleungdo and Dokdo were not Japanese territory, but part of Korea.
8. In the late 19th century, the Korean government clearly marks Ulleungdo and Dokdo as its territory.
In response to illegal entry to Ulleungdo by the Japanese to take lumber and to settle, the Joseon Kingdom abolished its “empty island” policy in 1882 and started to allow its people to move onto the island again.
Additionally, the modern maps made after the Kabo Reform (1894) clearly indicated Dokdo as Joseon territory, along with Ulleungdo.
“Daehanyeojido” in 1898 and “Daehanjeondo” in 1899 of the department in Taehan (Korean) Empire made it clear that Dokdo(Usan) is Korean territory.
9. Daehan (Korean) Empire’s imperial ordinance No. 41 in 1900 proclaims Dokdo as a Korean territory to the world.
As a part of preventive countermeasures to halt the frequent illegal entry on Ulleungdo by Japanese, Daehan (Korean) Empire reformed its local administrative system. In October 1900, it issued imperial ordinance No. 41 and so elevated Ulleungdo had belonged to Uljin-gun to Uldo-gun and then appointed the Uldo county governor.
Uldo-gun administered Ulleungdo, Chuksodo(Chukto) and Dokdo(Sokto). Additionally, this reform was published in the central Official Gazette in order to promulgate it abroad as well. Through imperial ordinance No.41 in 1900, Dokdo was firmly established as Korean territory again.
When the “empty island” policy was replaced by the “move in” policy, numerous fishermen from the southwestern part of Joseon settled on the island. These settlers used “Dolsom,” which means to be made up of rocks (Doksom in Honam distinct dialect) more often than “Usando,” the official title of Dokdo.
Thus, “Dokdo” was written in Chinese characters, according to its phonetic transcription and “Sokto (Dolsom)” was written in Chinese characters according to its literal meaning, “rock island.” The Westerners called the island Liancourt Rocks, naming it after the ship that first drew Dokdo in its maps.
10. Japan annexes Dokdo by force in 1905.
After bringing about the Russo-Japanese War in February 1904, Japan decided to build its Navy observatory on Dokdo in the East Sea. Japanese fishery businessman Nakai tried to ask for permission from Daehan (Korean) Empire’s emperor to hunt seals on Dokdo exclusively.
The Japanese government knew that the island belonged to Korea but claimed Dokdo as an island with no owner and incorporated Dokdo into its territory during the cabinet assembly on Jan. 28, 1905.
Japan renamed Dokdo as “Takeshima” and decided to place it under the rule of Shimane. Knowing that Dokdo was Korean territory, Japan did not record or promulgate this decision via the “Official Gazette.”
Yet, since 512 A.D., Dokdo had been Korean territory. Thus, Japan’s claim that it took it in because it had no owner had no legal or historic merit. When the Uldo county governor found out Japan’s dispossession of Dokdo on March 28, 1906, he reported it to the central government through the Gangwon-do(Province) governor.
And the Daehan (Korean) Empire governor immediately censured Japan’s illegal act. However, the Daehan (Korean) Empire was annexed to Japan four years later on Aug. 29, 1910, and Dokdo was returned to Korea when the country regained its independence in August 1945.
Dokdo Doesn’t Shake”
MARCH 16, 2005 22:26
by Kwon-Hyo Lee Sung-Jin Choi (donga.com)
Despite high waves and strong sea winds, Dokdo looked as dauntlessness as ever on March 16 as Japan’s Shimane Prefecture designated “Takeshima (Japanese name for Dokdo) Day.”
The black-tailed gulls covering the island loudly cried on their nest, whether or not knowing the public’s indignation and dispute over Dokdo.
Lee Jae-hyeon (25, 19th term-graduate from the Korea National Police University), a chief Dokdo guard, showed his strong will, saying, “I’ll defend Dokdo even stronger to live up to the public’s expectations as Dokdo is currently under controversy.”
A marine police, Jeong Hong-gwon (24), who stayed in a control room, firmly said that no matter how strong the winds blow from Japan, the Dokdo guards don’t shake at all. About ten thousand residents of Ulleungdo are more infuriated than anyone else at the establishment of “Takeshima Day.”
On the day, 150 staff members of the Ulleung County Office held a protest meeting and marched from the county office to Dodong Port.
Several groups of residents also raised their voices shouting that the New Korea-Japan Pact on Fishing in 1999 should be abolished at this time.
Residents of Ulleungdo who commemorate October 25 as the “Ulleung-gun Residents’ Day” every year, decided to take the lead in protecting Dokdo after declaring October 25 as “Ulleung and Dokdo Island Day,” beginning this year.
Meanwhile, Gyeongbuk Province announced its break of relations with Shimane Prefecture, with which it established sisterhood relationships in 1989.
It added that it would prepare a “comprehensive plan to protect Dokdo,” specifying an establishment of the department fully responsible for generally managing and planning the Dokdo protection measure and construction of a Dokdo Marine and Science Research Institute.
Gyeongbuk Province Governor Lee Eui-Geun asserted at the news conference that Japan’s intrusive action in the “Korea and Japan Friendship Year” was a betrayal, showing a “honeyed tongue, but a heart of gal(口蜜腹劍)l” expression.
Korea’s Islands, Not Japan’s
Saturday, April 2, 2005; Page A20
In his March 25 letter, Naoyuki Agawa of the Embassy of Japan claimed that Dokdo belongs to Japan. Historically and legally, Dokdo is part of the Republic of Korea.
Korea has exercised jurisdiction over Dokdo since the sixth century. However, the islands unilaterally were incorporated into Japan in 1905 with the purpose of supporting Japan’s military campaign during the Russo-Japanese War. Dokdo was the first parcel of Korea’s sovereign territory that Japan seized in the course of its colonization of the Korean peninsula. After having been under Japanese colonial rule for nearly four decades, Dokdo was reinstated as Korea’s territory when Korea was liberated from Japan in 1945.
Further, it was only in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War that the term “Sea of Japan” gained increased usage to designate the body of water legitimately known as the “East Sea.” For obvious reasons, this historically tenuous appellation had been disseminated by the Japanese during their colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.
Minister for Public Affairs
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
‘Sea of Japan’ Is the Right Term
Friday, March 25, 2005; Page A18
A map included with the March 17 news story “Islands Come Between South Korea and Japan” used the terms “East Sea” and “Dokdo.”
Regarding the term “East Sea”: Japan believes it is essential to refer to this body of water as the “Sea of Japan,” a name used widely by the global community since the early 19th century. Although South Korea asserts that the name “Sea of Japan” came into general use as a consequence of Japan’s colonial past, the name was common long before colonization in the 20th century. Therefore, Korea’s attempt to change the name to “East Sea” is without merit.
Further, in March 2004 the United Nations confirmed that “Sea of Japan” is the standard term for that body of water and declared that dual designation breaches the prevailing practice of the single use of “Sea of Japan” and infringes upon the neutrality of the United Nations.
Regarding the term “Dokdo” appearing on the same map: These islands are an integral part of Japan, and thus they should be referred to as “Takeshima.”
Minister for Public Affairs
Embassy of Japan
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Japanese Schoolbooks Anger S. Korea, China
Militaristic Past Is Seen as Whitewashed
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, April 6, 2005; Page A15
TOKYO, April 5 — The Education Ministry on Tuesday approved a controversial new series of school textbooks that critics say whitewash Japan’s militaristic past. The move ignited immediate outrage among some of the country’s World War II-era victims.
The Chinese ambassador, Wang Yi, lodged a protest with Japan’s Foreign Ministry, while officials in Beijing blamed a violent anti-Japanese protest there over the weekend on Japan’s “irresponsible attitude” toward history.
Outrage was fiercest Tuesday in South Korea, where President Roh Moo Hyun has warned of a “diplomatic war” with Japan following Tokyo’s reassertion of its claims to a small group of islands that are held by South Korea.
Japanese officials said they made changes to parts of the new textbooks to clarify points about Japan’s colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. But South Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lee Kyu Hyung, said the newly approved texts were still “far from sufficient when universal values and historic truth are taken into account.”
The statements and counterstatements were the latest chapter in a decades-long feud between Japan and its neighbors over questions of the island’s wartime guilt and responsibility. Critics, mostly in the two Koreas and China, contend that Japan has consistently denied its wartime aggression.
The outcry intensified in 2001 after the Education Ministry here approved a new junior high textbook that was drafted by a group of Japanese nationalists and that omitted key details about Japan’s wartime atrocities. The book has since been adopted by a handful of Japanese schools.
On Tuesday, the Education Ministry approved a newer edition of the same text that critics say further distorts the past and portrays imperial Japan as a liberator rather than an occupier of its Asian neighbors. The text shuns the word “invasion,” for instance, and leaves out critical accounts of events such as the Japanese army’s massacre of civilians in Nanking, China, in 1937.
Other texts for the 2006 school year were toned down. The term “comfort women” — a euphemism for wartime sex slaves, mostly from Korea and China — disappeared from all eight junior high history books approved by the national government Tuesday. One book maintained a reference to wartime “comfort stations” for Japanese soldiers. In contrast, all 2001 editions of the books had specific references to the practice of sexual slavery, according to Japan’s Kyodo news service.
The Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, which drafted the most controversial of the new books, hailed the approvals as in step with current thinking in Japan.
Some schoolbook publishers and government officials have argued that it is time to remove “self-deprecating” historical references. That argument has troubled Japan’s neighbors because it comes at a time when Japan continues to move away from postwar pacifism and is considering changing its U.S.-drafted constitution, in which it renounced the right to maintain a military.
The government approved “the textbook that most faithfully reflects the goal . . . of deepening love towards our country’s history,” the society said in a statement.
In Seoul, a cluster of about 3,000 angry demonstrators picketed the Japanese Embassy and burned effigies of the Japanese ambassador. Authorities stopped one Korean man from stabbing himself in protest of the new texts.
“The Republic of Korea expresses regret over the fact that some of the 2006 Japanese middle school textbooks . . . still contain content that justifies and glorifies wrongs committed in the past,” the South Korean Embassy in Japan said in a statement.
Such sentiments were echoed by people in Japan concerned about resurgent right-wing nationalism. Japanese opponents said on Tuesday that they would fight adoption of the texts by local school boards.
Calling for a “restraint from emotions,” Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi neither criticized nor applauded Tuesday’s decision. The Education Ministry is headed by one of his most conservative cabinet members, Nariaki Nakayama.
Special correspondent Sachiko Sakamaki contributed to this report.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Dispute mit Japan (F.A.Z.-Gespräch)
Ein „Weißwaschen” seiner früheren Aggressionskriege wirft der südkoreanische Präsident dem benachbarten Japan vor. Demgegenüber lobte Roh die Bereitschaft Deutschlands, sich nach Kriegsende mit Frankreich auszusöhnen. In Japan werde dagegen der jungen Generation ein Geschichtsbild vermittelt, das die kriegerische Vergangenheit des Landes glorifiziere. Das schüre in Südkorea, das von 1910 bis 1945 japanische Kolonie war, Befürchtungen, „daß ähnliche Ereignisse sich wiederholen”, so Roh.
Die verbalen Auseinandersetzungen zwischen beiden Nachbarstaaten haben sich in jüngster Zeit auf den Inhalt japanischer Geschichtsbücher sowie den Streit um eine Inselgruppe konzentriert. Diese Inseln habe Japan in einem Aggressionskrieg erobert, sagte Roh Moo-hyun.
Zur japanischen Haltung sagte der südkoreanische Staatschef: „Es stimmt, daß Japan sich verschiedentlich entschuldigt hat. Aber Ereignisse der jüngsten Zeit haben diese Entschuldigungen gleichsam annulliert.” Daß japanische Politiker den umstrittenen Yasukuni-Schrein besuchen, bezeichnete er als einen „extremen Akt der Demütigung” sowohl für Korea wie für China..Text: F.A.Z., 08.04.2005, Nr. 81 / Seite 1Bildmaterial: EPA
Takeshima or Dokto: Dare we dream of `friendship’ island?
04/02/2005 by Yoshibumi Wakamiya
I visited South Korea on March 18, shortly after Shimane Prefecture enacted its “Takeshima Day” ordinance. I felt as if I was throwing myself into a raging storm of criticism directed at Japan.
My dialogue with Kwon Okie, a veteran South Korean journalist, was published by The Asahi Shimbun under the headline “Kankoku-to Nihonkoku” (South Korea and Japan). The purpose of my visit was to attend a party in Seoul to celebrate the publication of its Korean version. Unfortunately, it happened to coincide with the Takeshima problem, which I could not have foreseen.
Angry South Koreans burned the Hinomaru national flag. One person cut off a finger in protest and a golf course erected a sign saying, “No Japanese.” The row even led a local government to try to designate “Tsushima Day.” Tsushima lies between Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula and forms part of Nagasaki Prefecture.
The South Korean government showed its resolve by announcing a set of new principles to deal with Japan. President Roh Moo Hyun referred to the territorial issue as “diplomatic war.” Although the publication party ended without any fuss, my mood remained gloomy.
Allow me to recall a similar situation back in 1982 when I was studying in Seoul. At the time, an anti-Japanese movement was raging in protest over the way Japanese senior high school history textbooks “distorted” facts. Newspapers and television programs all criticized Japan. The South Korean government also remained firm in opposing Japan. The situation gave rise to the term “overcoming Japan” and led to the establishment of a hall, built with public donations, to commemorate South Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
That was 23 years ago. After cohosting the soccer World Cup in 2002, the two nations drew closer. Now Japan is in the grip of an unprecedented South Korea boom. This year has been designated “Japan-South Korea friendship year.” Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) plans to host its long-standing popular amateur singing contest program “Nodojiman” in Seoul in June.
In the book “Kankoku-to Nihonkoku,” Kwon and I were able to exchange frank criticisms directed at our own countries because we felt a drastic change in the times. Just as things were looking up, how did we get into this mess? I, too, cannot help but feel confused.
I knew how South Korea feels strongly about the island-actually two isles and reefs-which it calls Tokto. But its reaction over “Takeshima Day” was beyond my imagination. Frankly, I was flabbergasted. However, that angry outburst showed me the depth of their emotions toward the island.
The Meiji government incorporated Takeshima into Shimane Prefecture as Japanese territory in February 1905. In the fall of that year, the Korean Peninsula was forced into becoming a protectorate of Japan and was annexed five years later. That is why it views the incorporation of Takeshima as the first step toward Japanese colonization of South Korea. But looking from the other side, the forced occupation of Takeshima by South Korea after World War II can be seen as a symbol of its liberation from Japan.
Moreover, looking at the way South Korea painted “South Korean territory” in large letters on the rocky surface of the island that Japan claims as its own and its ostentatious deployment of 40 coast guards there, I get the impression that it is trying to savor a taste of retaliation against Japan’s colonization of Korea.
Just as Japan ruthlessly suppressed the Korean Peninsula’s independence movement, South Korea, too, seems determined to crack down on Japanese moves to “recover Takeshima,” although some people may argue that my interpretation is too stingy.
Be that as it may, the gap that suddenly spread between Japan and South Korea is so deep that it even goes beyond bilateral relations.
First, it affects Japan’s relations with North Korea. This is at a time when the rift in relations between Japan and North Korea has never been deeper. That is because of the nuclear and abduction problems. Still, we found solace in improved relations with South Korea. But at this rate, the situation could develop into an ethnic confrontation between the Japanese and Korean people.
Even though South Korea was provoked into entering the Korean War and suffered the horror of terrorism, it is now tolerant toward North Korea. Rather, it seems harsher toward Japan, which stands firm in resolving the abduction issue. In fact, President Roh demanded that “Japan understand the anger of our people, who suffered thousands and tens of thousands times as much pain when our nation was under Japanese rule.” The statement must stem from the fact that even though the Korean Peninsula remains divided, the people who live there are one. Under such circumstances, how can Japan expect to win the cooperation of South Korea in trying to reach a rapprochement with North Korea?
I want South Korea to think calmly. At the same time, however, there are segments of Japanese society that blatantly show no signs of reflection on Japan’s colonial rule. This serves to provoke South Korea and stir misunderstanding over things like the Takeshima ordinance.
Japan’s also has tense relations with its neighbors beyond the Korean Peninsula.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine continue to antagonize China, with which Japan remains at odds over possession of the Senkaku islands and demarcation of exclusive economic waters. As far as the territorial dispute is concerned, no progress has been made to advance negotiations over the Northern Territories issue with Russia. And now comes Takeshima. Japan’s “front” is wide on all sides.
Can we not at least settle the dispute over Takeshima and bridge our gap with South Korea?
One idea is to bring Takeshima under joint Japanese and South Korean control. But under the circumstances, I doubt South Korea would agree to it. If so, why not abandon our claim to the island and hand over complete sovereignty to South Korea? This is what I dream.
In return, South Korea could name the island “Friendship Island” in honor of Japanese magnanimity and allow Japan full fishing rights in the area into the future. It could then offer its complete support for Japan on all of its other territorial issues. Negotiations for a free trade agreement would also advance and add momentum to Japan-South Korea cooperation.
Lose a dime and win a dollar
When I say we should give up our claim to the island, I can imagine that some people would regard me as a “traitor.” But no matter how pugnacious they may be, there is no way Japan can make war and regain the island by force. Besides, to begin with, Takeshima is an uninhabitable island with little value except for fishing rights. It is completely different from the Northern Territories issue that former residents desperately want returned to Japan, and the Senkaku Islands, which are strategically important.
Soon, we will be marking the “centennial of annexation.” Is there no way for Japan to astonish South Korea by showing how bighearted it can be? Why not lose a dime and win a dollar? But I guess not because Japan is not a country that can accomplish such a feat.
That’s why, like I said, this is just a dream.
Profile : Yoshibumi Wakamiya, the chairman of the editorial board of The Asahi Shimbun had been a political writer since 1975 and was a political editor for more than 3 years. He was born in 1948 and graduated from Tokyo University in 1970 with BA in Law. He studied Korean Language at Yonsei University in Seoul from 1981 to 1982. Since 1994, he has been a member of the “Japan-Korea Forum,” a non-governmental organization for policy discussion between the two countries. He stayed at The Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. as a Guest Scholar for 9 months from May 2001. His major publications include “The Postwar Conservative View of Asia” (LTCB International Library, 1999) which was issued in English translated from the original Japanese edition.
[Editorial] Once Again Pinning Hope on the Conscience of the Japanese People
APRIL 05, 2005 23:38 http://www.donga.com/
Yesterday, the Japanese Education Ministry released results of a review on history and civil studies textbooks which are to be used from 2006. Korea has emphasized the review results as critical in improving the strained bilateral relations. However, the results were disappointing.
Regarding Dokdo, Fusosha Publishers added a picture of Dokdo in its civil studies textbook that was not included in its 2001 edition, and explained that the islets were “illegally occupied by Korea.” The civil studies textbooks of Tokyo Books and Osaka Books and the geography textbook of Nihon Books also added that Dokdo was “Japanese territory” or “in Japanese territorial waters.” The textbook changes have been made for the worse.
Of the 30 problematic parts of Fusosha’s history textbook, 17 parts remained the same as those of the previous editions, and eight parts were “improved” or “partially improved.” However, five parts were changed for the worse, including a column entitled “Modernization of Joseon and Japan,” to which distortions that Japan helped modernize Joseon were added. The fact that the explanations of military comfort women were scrapped from the textbook of Shimizu publishing company are also problematic.
The Korean government pointed out, “Japan’s claim of sovereignty over Dokdo is a means to justify its colonial rule and goes against the liberation history of our nation. The history textbooks are very faulty based on universal values and historic facts.” These opinions are reasonable.
Regarding the review process, Korea is concerned over the fact that the rule of “taking the criticism of neighboring nations into consideration when writing textbooks” has lost all effectiveness, and additional publishing houses have also started to distort history. It is regrettable that the Japanese education minister, the highest official responsible for the textbook review, fueled such distortions by saying, “We must change our teaching strategies and clearly state that Dokdo is Japanese territory. Because of the rule of considering neighboring nation’s opinions, we have a history education of self-blame.”
It is rash for Japan to try to play a leading role in the international society when it feels no regret over its recent history, and it has not earned the trust of neighboring nations. Japan must look back and think about why street protests and boycott campaigns on Japanese products are expanding even in China. Only a nation that can teach factual history to the next generation, even if it is shameful history, has the right to be a leading nation. It is not economic power alone that defines a leading nation.
We cannot make compromises on the Dokdo sovereignty issue. However, we once again pin hope on Japan’s conscience regarding the textbooks. The fact that Fusosha’s 2001 history textbook had a 0.039 percent selection rate symbolized a victory of Japan’s conscientious intellectuals and civic groups. The Korean government must strengthen ties with these parties once again to reduce the chance for selection. Overseas public relation activities must also be promoted in order not to neglect informing others that Dokdo is Korean territory. Diplomatic powers must also be in full force at the Korea-Japan Foreign Ministers’ meeting slated for April 7.
“Concessions on Territorial Integrity Unthinkable”
MARCH 16, 2005 22:03
The Korean government is scheduled to announce on Thursday a doctrine forewarning Japan that despite the continuation of friendly and forward-looking relations between the two countries, infringement of Korea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will not be overlooked. This comes on the heels of the passage on Wednesday by local representatives in Japan’s Shimane prefecture of an ordinance establishing a commemorative “Takeshima Day.” Takeshima is the Japanese term for Dokdo, an island in the East Sea that is garrisoned by Korea and claimed by Japan.
This basic principle governing Korea-Japan relations was laid out at the standing committee of the National Security Council on Wednesday, and will be announced tomorrow afternoon by Jeong Woo-sung, the foreign policy assistant to President Roh Moo-hyun, in the form of an official statement to the Japanese government. That the announcement will be made by a Cheong Wa Dae senior official rather than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade testifies to an effort by the government to convey the doctrine’s reflectiveness of the president’s concern.
The government is currently assembling a set of multi-phased measures such as recalling the Korean ambassador to Tokyo and riding the opposition bandwagon to Japan’s push for membership in the UN Security Council, according to press reports on Wednesday. The measures implemented by the government will be commensurate to the degree of Japan’s insistence on its possession of the islands.
Yu Hong-jun, the administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration, held an urgent press conference on Wednesday to announce the lifting of restrictions on visits to the islands by reporters and ordinary citizens. The Cultural Heritage Administration is a governmental body charged with the management of natural monuments such as the Dokdo islands, to which access had been granted previously only through the permission of the Cultural Heritage Administration and the governor of Gyeongbuk Province, where the islands are situated.
Mr. Yu announced his intention to grant, to the farthest extent possible, unfettered access to Dokdo, adding that foreign tourists including Japanese citizens will enjoy the same opportunities of visit should their intentions remain apolitical.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman Lee Kyu-hyung issued a statement demanding the immediate renouncement of the regional ordinance, claiming that the indiscreet move by Shimane Prefecture has no international legal effect and no bearing on the current status of the islands.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade summoned Toshinao Urabe, Japan’s acting ambassador to Korea, and sent Ra Jong-il, the Korean top diplomat to Japan, to the Japanese foreign ministry to express the government’s strong protest over recent developments as well as to request the renunciation of the ordinance.
On Wednesday morning, the Shimane prefectural parliament passed, with the approval of 33 votes out of 38 cast, a bill submitted on February 22 which proposes to establish a “Takeshima Day.”
Following the bill’s passage, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi remarked that historical claims over the islands had long placed the neighboring countries on opposing ends, with each declaring the legitimacy of its stance. “We must manage this issue on the grounds of mutual friendship,” he said.
Ban confronts Japanese minister on textbooks
– Seoul questions Tokyo`s role in Dokdo claims
Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon confronted Japanese counterpart Nobutaka Machimura yesterday and questioned the Japanese government`s role in new textbooks claiming the Korean-controlled Dokdo islands in the East Sea.
Ban also demanded that the Japanese government flex its authority to retract “inaccurate” Dokdo descriptions from the textbooks for the sake of healthy Korea-Japan relations.
“The addition of (Japan`s claims to Dokdo) in the textbooks due to the Japanese government`s interference during the review period seriously raises a doubt of Japan`s intention to better bilateral relations,” Ban told Machimura. He demanded the Dokdo parts immediately be scrapped.
The face-off in Islamabad, Pakistan, during the Asian Cooperation Dialogue conference, was viewed as a crucial opportunity to improve fast-deteriorating bilateral relations over Japan`s renewed claims to sovereignty over Dokdo. (The Japanese call the islands Takeshima.)
The ministerial talks were also expected to spur planning for the next Korea-Japan shuttle summit between President Roh Moo-hyun and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, slated to be held within the first half of this year.
After a yearlong review closely watched by Asian countries that had protested distortion of history in previous versions, Japan`s Education Ministry on Tuesday released new history, geography and other textbooks compiled by eight publishers for use in secondary schools.
Korea and China summoned the Japanese ambassadors in their respective capitals to protest the worsening “distortion” of Japan`s invasion and colonization.
“The Korean government expects Japan to show specific explanations detailed enough for Koreans to comprehend,” Ban told the Japanese minister.
The Japanese government has been denying allegations it had any influence on the contents of the textbooks, saying they are entirely up to individual publishers.
A Japanese Foreign Ministry Web site claims Japan`s sovereignty of Dokdo with such phrases as “Korea illegally controls the islets,” a phrase mimicked in three of the controversial textbooks.
As part of Korea`s move to publicize Japan`s attempts, Ambassador Choi Hyuck explained to the U.N. conference on human rights in Geneva the “distortions” in Japanese textbooks and urged Japan to take countermeasures.
“… Certain textbooks in Japan … continue to distort or omit altogether historical facts relating to gross human rights violations,” Choi said, citing the exclusion of Japan`s mobilization and enslavement of so-called “comfort women” during its colonial rule of Korea 1910-45.
“My government expresses its deep concern and resentment that Japan still refuses to come to terms with its past by ignoring our repeated calls for rectification,” he said.
Protests against the textbooks also surged in China as anti-Japan campaigns and boycott of Japanese products spread widely.
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Japan`s Machimura are set to meet on April 17 to discuss the textbooks and sovereignty over the Diaoyu islands, or the Senkakus, among other issues.
The depiction by three textbooks of Dokdo as Japanese territory has already prompted vehement anger and disappointment among the Korean public.
Japan first laid claim to the islands on Feb. 22, 1905, when the central administration registered Dokdo as part of its Shimane Prefecture under the name Takeshima.
Five years later, in 1910, Japan invaded Korea and ruled for it as a colony for 35 years until its 1945 surrender which ended World war II.
This year, Shimane Prefecture designated Feb. 22 as “Takeshima Day” and sparked vehement daily protests outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and elsewhere in Korea.
Japan has sought for some time to bring its claims to the islands to the international court, but Korea deems that as a mere provocation and a denial of the historical facts.
Seoul Urges Tokyo to Correct Textbooks
By Ryu Jin Staff Reporter
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon demanded Thursday that Tokyo immediately remove the “problematic” descriptions of South Korea’s Dokdo islets from the new Japanese textbooks, ministry officials said.
In his 90-minute meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura in Islamabad, Pakistan, Ban made it clear that Seoul would not tolerate Tokyo’s moves to lay claim to Dokdo, the rocky islets in the East Sea that the Japanese textbooks refer to as “Takeshima.”
“We doubt the Japanese government’s determination for a future-oriented partnership between the two countries as the Japanese textbooks fortified their descriptions of Dokdo,” Ban was quoted as telling Machimura.
The foreign ministers’ meeting was the highest-level contact between the two countries since the current diplomatic row flared up in mid-February. The ministers met on the sidelines of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) meeting in Islamabad.
Besides historical distortions glorifying imperial Japan in the last century, Japan’s recently authorized textbooks, including the infamous Fusosha, arguing that “Takeshima belongs to Japan but has been occupied by South Korea illegally.”
“I cannot tolerate Japan’s claim to Tokto, not only as the foreign minister but also as a member of the nation,” the Korean minister said. “I demand that Japan erase all of the Dokdo descriptions in the textbooks immediately.”
As expected, however, Ban failed to receive an apology from the Japanese foreign minister. “I agree that the continuation of tension between the two nations will damage their ties,” Machimura was quoted as saying.
After the talks, Machimura told reporters that the two ministers agreed to try to arrange Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to South Korea in June or July as part of efforts to mend fences, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said.
In Tokyo, Koizumi expects to visit South Korea for a summit with President Roh Moo-hyun in June as scheduled, according to reports. (firstname.lastname@example.org 04-07-2005 20:47)
San 1~37, Dokdo-ri, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do 799-805 Republic of Korea
Dokdo is an isolated island in the eastern reaches of the nation’s territory. It is located 87km southeast of Ulleungdo Island.
Dokdo Island (18.1㎢) is formed from volcanic rock. The island is located at a latitude of 37° 14′ 22˝ north and a longitude of 131° 52’08˝ east.
Along with Ulleungdo Island, Dokdo Island was one part of a country called Usanguk. According to records, Usanguk became part of the Silla dynasty in June of the 13th year that King Jijeung ruled Silla (57 B.C.~A.D. 935). Isabu (a general and politician of Silla) gained enough strength at that time to take over Usanguk.
In the Seongjong Memoir of the Joseon dynasty, there are passages of a Kim Jaju describing Dokdo Island (called Sambongdo at that time). Dokdo was called ‘Sambongdo’, ‘Gajido’ or ‘Usando’, but the name was changed to Dokdo in 1881. The name ‘Dokdo’ was first used in 1906 by the Ulleung county headman Sim Heungtaek. In 1914, Dokdo Island officially became an administrative district of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
After Imjin War (1592), Japanese fishermen often came near Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Sukjong Sillok, the Annals of King Sukjong(1674-1720), records that An Yongbok went twice to Japan in order to protest against Japanese nationals trespassing into Korean territory. He asked the Japanese authorities to recognize Korea’s sovereignty over these islands and to forbid Japanese nationals to sail to these islands.
Dokdo Island is composed of two main islets, Dongdo(East Island) and Seodo(West Island), as well as 32 rock islets. Dongdo(98.6 meters above sea level) has a crater. Seodo(168.5 meters above sea level) does not have a crater but it is also made of volcanic rocks. Between Dongdo and Seodo is the Hyeongjegul Cave, and there is the Cheonsanggul Cave on Dongdo. Over time, other caves and topographic features of the island have formed due to weathering and erosion.
Japan acknowledged the value of Dokdo Island after the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Japan unilaterally transferred Dokdo Island to Shimane Prefecture, Japan and renamed it “Takeshima”. They have continuously declared their dominion, which led to diplomatic problems between Korea and Japan. It still has not been solved.
Presently there are security guards on Dokdo Island. Houses were built on the rocks and a small harbor as well. Several fresh water sources have also been found on the island, supplying safe drinking water for its inhabitants.
Until recently, only researchers, reporters and other special cases were given permission to tour Dokdo. Now, anyone interested in visiting the island can apply at the Ulleung-gun Administrative Office (+82-54-790-6420/Kor). Interested persons can only visit the island after permission has been granted and must apply 15 days prior to their desired tour date.
Visitors wishing to take a ferry ride around the island may do so at anytime. Ferries run twice a day, the first at 7 am and the second at 2 pm. You can catch the Sambongho ferry at Dodong Harbor on Ulleungdo Island. The trip lasts for approximately four hours and costs 37,500 won for those 19 years and over. Approximately 30~40 minutes of the ferry trip are spent exploring the coastline of Dokdo.
The Sunflower Ferry (Daeah Express Shipping Company) has regular rides between Pohang and Ulleungdo. There are also extra rides to Ulluengdo, but they are only available if you make reservations one month prior to your trip. It is 87.4km from Ulleungdo to Dokdo and takes an hour and twenty minutes.
Inquiries: Culture and Tourism Department of Ulleung-gun
Website: www.dokdo.go.kr (Kor,Eng,Jpn,Chn)
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