독도연구소 Dokdo Research laboratory

언어선택

홈으로 사이트맵

독도이미지

Issues

Issues home > RESEARCH > Issues

인쇄 트위터로 보내기 [새창] 페이스북
Issues 게시판 상세보기
TITLE The Truth Is... Dokdo is Korean Territory
DATE 2009.03.10 HITS 13879
01_title
THE TRUTH IS...

In the original edition of The Revised Complete Map of Japanese Lands and Roads, which is a map privately made in 1779, Ulleungdo and Dokdo are uncolored as is the Korean Peninsula. Also, the two islands are located outside the grid of Japan’s longitudinal and latitudinal lines, indicating that the islands are outside of Japanese territory.

Meanwhile, there are a number of old Japanese maps published by the Japanese government, including The Chosen Tokai Kaiganzu (“A Map of the Eastern Coast of Korea,” 1876), which was published by the Japanese Ministry of the Navy, that places the two islands within Korea’s territory.

Since 1696, when the Tokugawa Shogunate officially banned Japanese fishermen from crossing the East Sea to Ulleungdo Island, Japanese people gradually became confused about the two islands, and not only did they refer to the islands in several different names such as Matsushima(松島), Riyanko Island (リヤンコ島), Ranko Island (ランコ島), and Takeshima (竹島), but also was the islands’ geographic location completely forgotten in the end.

01.fig Fig. 1. The Chosen Tokai Kaiganzu (“A Map of the Eastern Coast of Korea”, 1876) by the Japanese Ministry of the Navy : The map indicates that the two islands are within Korean territory.
02_title
THE TRUTH IS...

One can safely conclude that Korea recognized Dokdo's existence as early as when Ulleungdo was first inhabited, because in fair weather, Dokdo is within easy range of the naked eye from Ulleng do. Thus, such recognition enabled many government documents published during the Joseon period to contain a clear description of Dokdo: Sejong Sillok Jiriji (“Geographical Records in The Annals of King Sejong,”1454), Sinjeung Dongguk Yeoji Seungnam (“The Newly Enlarged Geographical Survey of Korea,” 1530), DonggukMunheon Bigo (“Reference Compilation of Materials on Korea,” 1770), and Mangi Yoram (“The Book of Ten Thousand Techniques of Governance,” 1808). The records of Dokdo in the latter two documents, Dongguk Munheon Bigo (1770) and MangiYoram (1808), present a particularly clear description stating: “Ulleungdo and Usando are lands of Usanguk [or the State of Usan], and Usando is the island that Japanese call Songdo [i.e. Matsushima].” No other record of this period contains a clearer statement which shows that Usando is an old name of Dokdo.

An important Japanese document on the An Yong-bok Incident, “One-volume Memorandum Concerning the Korean Boat that Came Alongside the Pier in the 9th Year of Genroku (元禄九丙 子年朝鮮舟着岸一巻之覚書),” which was discovered in Oki Island in 2005, also clearly shows that Ulleungdo and Dokdo were islands under the jurisdiction of Gangwon-do (or Gangwon Province) of Joseon. (See Fig. 5. below)

Although some old maps made in Korea may not fully capture the exact size and location of Dokdo—largely due to a lack of advanced cartographic techniques - this is insufficient to prove that Korea did not recognize the existence of Dokdo at this time. Almost all old Korean maps, made either in private or public, include the two islands Ulleungdo and Dokdo in the East Sea, showing that Korean people in the past clearly recognized the existence of both islands.

02.fig Fig. 2. Dokdo Seen from Ulleungdo: One can see Dokdo from Ulleungdo with the naked eye.
03_title
THE TRUTH IS...

A permission or a license is not necessary to make passage to one's domestic islands. Therefore, the very fact that government permission for passage was issued by the Shogunate, clearly shows that the Tokugawa Shogunate did not regard Ulleungdo and Dokdo as Japanese territories.

A Japanese document, Onshu Shicho Goki (“Records on Observation in Oki Province,” 1667), which was published in mid 17th century, illustrates how the Japanese of their own accord, did not consider Dokdo as Japanese territory: “The Oki Island marks the northwestern boundary of Japan.”

In 1877, the Dajokan, or the Grand Council of State, officially admitted on the basis of a Korea-Japan agreement concluded in the late 17th century, that Dokdo was not Japan's territory: “Regarding Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo] and the other island [i.e. Dokdo], it is to be understood that our country has nothing to do with them.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also produced a similar report under the title, Chosenkoku Kosai-Shimatsu Naitansho (Confidential Inquiry into the Particulars of Korea’s Relations with Japan, 1870), after a secret investigation which was conducted on the "background of how Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo] and Matsushima [i.e. Dokdo] became annexed to Joseon," thereby publicly recognizing Matsushima [i.e. Dokdo] as Korea's territory.

03.fig Fig. 3. Chosenkoku Kosai-Shimatsu Naitansho (Confidential Inquiry into the Particulars of Korea's Relations with Japan, 1870): This document,issued in 1870 by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, clearly states that both Ulleungdo and Dokdo are Korea's territories.
04_title
THE TRUTH IS...

When issuing the prohibition of passage to Ulleungdo in the late 17th century, the Edo Shogunate asked the Tottori Prefecture if there were “any islands attached to Tottori Prefecture other than Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo].” Here, the Prefecture answered that “no other islands belong to the Prefecture, including Takeshima and Matsushima,” showing that both islands were not under the jurisdiction of the Tottori Prefecture.

When issuing the prohibition of passage to Ulleungdo in the late 17th century, the Edo Shogunate asked the Tottori Prefecture if there were “any islands attached to Tottori Prefecture other than Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo].” Here, the Prefecture answered that “no other islands belong to the Prefecture, including Takeshima and Matsushima,” showing tMoreover, as clearly explained by the subtitles of the Japanese documents owned by the Oya Family, “Matsushima [i.e. Dokdo] in Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo]’ and “Matsushima in the Vicinity of Takeshima,” Dokdo was and still is widely regarded as an island attached to Ulleungdo. Therefore, the 1696 prohibition of passage to Ulleungdo naturally meant the prohibition of passage to Dokdo as well.at both islands were not under the jurisdiction of the Tottori Prefecture.

The confusion over the official name of Dokdo in Japan, following the prohibition of passage to the two islands, again reveals that Japan at the time did not clearly recognize the existence of Dokdo, not to mention its passage to the island.

04.fig Fig. 4. The 1877 Dajokan Order: The Japanese Grand Council of State, or Dajokan, of the Meiji government officially notified the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the basis of the prohibition of passage to Ulleungdo issued by the Shogunate in the late 17th century that, “Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo] and the other island [i.e. Dokdo] are not related to Japan”.
05_title
THE TRUTH IS...

Japan's doubts over Korea's official records concerning An Yong-bok's activities on his voyage to Japan are hardly justified, considering that the Joseon dynasty also conducted thorough investigations via the Border Defense Council (Bibyeonsa) on the same issue. It is absolutely arrogant and hence totally unacceptable, for Japan to assert that Korea's official records are not credible, only because certain facts in Korea's records are not included in Japan's records.
 

※ The records of An's activities in Japan are included in several important government publications of the Joseon dynasty such as Sukjong Sillok (“Veritable Records of King Sukjong”), Seungjeongwon Ilgi (“Diaries of the Royal Secretariat”), and Dongguk Munheon Bigo (“Reference Compilation of Documents on Korea”) as well as Japanese texts such as Takeshima Kiji, Takeshima Tokai Yuraiki Basho Hikae (“Excerpts from the Record on the Background of the Passage to Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo]”), Unauthorized Edition of the Chronology of the Hoku Family, Inpu Nenpyo, and Takeshima Ko (A Study of Takeshima).

An Yong-bok's work in Japan facilitated the development of state-level talks on Ulleungdo and Dokdo between Joseon and Japan, and eventually led Japan formally to recognize the two islands as Korean territories. As a territorial dispute emerged between Korea and Japan via the An Yong-bok Incident, the Edo Shogunate inquired Tottori-Prefecture in 1695, about the time in which Ulleungdo/Dokdo came under the Prefecture’s jurisdiction. Later, the Prefecture sent the Shogunate an official letter, stating that neither belonged to Tottori-Prefecture.

The Shogunate's order banning Japanese passage to Ulleungdo was issued in January 1696, but almost 8 months passed before the order was actually delivered to the residents of Yonago. Until then, the fishermen of Yonago were able to set sail to Ulleungdo. Thus, it is unsuitable to argue that An’s statement is false, of seeing Japanese fishermen in Ulleungdo in May of the same year.

A Japanese investigation report on the An Yong-bok Incident which was discovered in 2005,“One-volume Memorandum Concerning the Korean Boat that Came Alongside the Pier in the 9th Year of Genroku,” has an appendix containing the names of Joseon’s eight provinces taken from a Joseon map carried by An. The appendix also shows Ulleungdo and Dokdo placed as part of Gangwon-do, clearly proving that An stated to the Japanese investigators, that the two islands are under the jurisdiction of Gangwon-do.

05.fig Fig. 5. Appendix to the Investigation Report on the An Yong-bok Incident in 1696: The report containing the details of An’s activities in Japan during his second visit is attached to this memo in which Takeshima [i.e. Ulleungdo] and Matsushima [i.e. Dokdo] are clearly stated as Joseon's territories belonging to Gangwon-do, one of Joseon's eight Provinces.
06_title
THE TRUTH IS...

It is farfetched logic and self-contradictory for Japan to argue that they reaffirmed the incorporation of Takeshima [i.e. Dokdo] into its territory in 1905, while also maintaining that the island has always been Japan's territory. For such an argument to be even slightly plausible, Japan should have taken same measures in reaffirming its sovereignty over the rest of its entire territory as well. Korea took action as soon as it was informed about Japan's maneuvers and reaffirmed that Dokdo was Korea's territory (1906). However, Korea was not able to lodge a diplomatic protest due to the Japanese Protectorate Treaty of 1905, which deprived Korea of its diplomatic rights. Japan tried to explain the 1905 incorporation of Dokdo in that the island was terra nullius (“empty land”), but the excuse was later changed to the “reaffirmation of the intention to take possession,” again revealing that Japan's grounds for its assertion was weak indeed.

Records show that a Japanese seal fisherman named Nakai Yosaburo, fully aware that Dokdo was Korea's territory, planned to petition to the Korean government, for exclusive rights to fish and hunt sea lions in the Dokdo area. The fisherman was later persuaded to change his mind by Japanese officials in the Ministry of Navy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to instead submit a formal request to the Japanese government to incorporate the island into Shimane Prefecture as part of its territory. Meanwhile, another Japanese official (Inoue) in the Ministry of Internal Affairs opposed the idea by stating: “If we incorporate the useless rocks that are currently deemed as Korea's land, it will surely raise doubts among foreign states watching us, leading them to believe that Japan plans to annex Korea”.

The Korean Imperial Ordinance No. 41 issued in 1900 is clear evidence that Korea had effective control over Dokdo. Considering the geographical conditions surrounding Ulleungdo and the everyday life of Ulleungdo islanders who called Dokdo as Dokseom (or Dolseom, both literally meaning “rocky island”), there is no doubt that the name “Seokdo” (literally “rocky island”) in the Ordinance refers to Dokdo. As clearly shown by an Ulleungdo settler (Hong Jae-hyeon)’s testimony in 1947 and incidents such as the 1948 Bombing of Dokdo, Dokdo had been and continued to be an important fishing ground for the Ulleungdo residents before and after 1905.

06.fig Fig. 6. The Korean Imperial Ordinance No. 41 (1900): The Korean Empire made a clear statement that Seokdo [i.e. Dokdo] is under the jurisdiction of Ulleung-gun, or Ulleung County.
07_title
THE TRUTH IS...

Initially, the US recognized Dokdo as Korea’s territory, and the temporary change in US's position was only due to strategic lobbying by Japan. Japan has failed to show logical consistency in its assertion that Dokdo, of which there is no provision in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, should be Japan's territory, while at the same time refusing to accept the Kuril Islands (or “Four Northern Territories” as they are called by Japan) as Russian territory, although the islands are clearly acknowledged as such in the Treaty of Peace with Japan.

The General Headquarters of the Allied Powers, during its occupation of Japan, applied Directive SCAPIN-677 without issuing any other specific orders, and the Japanese government also acknowledged, after the ratification of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, that Dokdo was excluded from its jurisdiction. In October 1951, the Japanese government submitted to the House of Representatives, the Map of Japanese Territory, drawn according to the San Francisco Peace Treaty. In this map, Dokdo lies outside the line marking the boundary of Japanese territory, showing that the island is not Japanese territory.
 

※ The Directive SCAPIN-677 provides that Dokdo along with Ulleungdo, belongs to the area which is excluded from Japan's governmental or administrative authority.
※ SCAPIN-677: “3. For the purpose of this directive, Japan is defined to include the four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku) and the approximately 1,000 smaller adjacent islands, ... and excluding (a) Utsryo (Ullung) Island, Liancourt Rocks ...”.

The Allied Forces' decision to exclude Dokdo from Japan's territory between World War II and the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty was part of postwar measures to implement the results from the Cairo Declaration (1943) and the Potsdam Declaration (1945). In conclusion, Dokdo was rightly included as an area Japan should relinquish because it was Korea's territory, which Japan usurped through violence and for greed during the Russo-Japanese War, which heralded the start of Japan's full-scale land-grabbing war. After the war, Dokdo was separated from Japan, according to the Allied Powers' decision, to be under the US Forces' rule, until the island along with numerous other islands, in accordance to a UN resolution, was handed over to the Government of Korea which was established on August 15, 1948. The San Francisco Peace Treaty merely confirmed these facts.

07.fig Fig. 7. The Map of Japanese Territory (“The Treaty of Peace with Japan,” Mainichi Newspaper, 1952): The map shows that the Japanese Government acknowledged that Dokdo was excluded from the Japanese territory following the establishment of the Treaty.
08_title
THE TRUTH IS...

The Korean Government's protest led the American Air Forces to immediately exclude Dokdo from its bombing range and to send the Korean Government an official notification of the action. Additionally, that Dokdo was located within the KADIZ, and hence outside the JADIZ which were newly set up at the time, also confirms that the island is Korea's territory. The continued use of Dokdo as a bombing range for US Air Forces and repeated bombings in 1952 that inflicted losses to Korean fishermen working around the island, were results from Japan’s incitation as clearly shown in the records from the National Diet of Japan.
 

※ The following are words exchanged between Yamamoto, a Diet member from the Shimane constituency, and Ishihara, Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, in a Foreign Affairs committee meeting held in the House of Representatives on May 23, 1952.

Yamamoto: “As for the designation of the military practice area for the Occupation Forces, I think that if the vicinity of Takeshima is designated as a practice area, it would help Japan get confirmation of its territorial sovereignty over the island. Please tell me if that is what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends.”

Ishihara: “It seems that things are sought after in various ways largely from such an idea.”

08.fig Fig. 8. Opening a memorial monument for the 1948 Dokdo bombing victims (June 8, 1950): A ceremony was held to open the memorial stone erected at Dokdo for the Dokdo fishermen who lost their lives at the 1948 Dokdo Bombing Incident. The governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do attended the ceremony.
09_title
THE TRUTH IS...

Japan has never established its territorial sovereignty over Dokdo, in any period in history, and Japan's claim on the Korean island is nothing but a unilateral, invalid, and illegal attempt to infringe upon Korea’s territorial sovereignty over Dokdo.

Japan made an attempt to establish territorial sovereignty over Dokdo via measures taken in 1905, but Korea had already established its territorial sovereignty over the island before that.
 

※ There are a number of important historical documents in both Korea and Japan, which clearly state that Dokdo is Korea’s territory, including Sejong Sillok Jiriji (Geographical Appendix to the Veritable Records of King Sejong: 1454), Mangi Yoram (“The Essentials of Governance”: 1808), the Korean Imperial Ordinance No. 41 (1900), a document by the Edo Shogunate prohibiting Japanese fishermen from the passage to Ulleungdo (1696), Chosenkoku Kosai-Shimatsu Naitansho (“Confidential Inquiry into the Particulars of Korea’s Relations with Japan”; 1870) issued by the Meiji government, and the 1877 Dajokan Order.

09.fig Fig. 9. Mangi Yoram (“Essentials of Governance; 1808): It contains a record stating that “both Ulleungdo and Usando [i.e. Dokdo] are the land of Usanguk.”
10_title
THE TRUTH IS...

A remarkable self-contradiction exists in Japan's position that while refusing to bring the issue of Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands or the “Four Northern Territories” to the International Court of Justice, Japan asserts that the Dokdo issue should be solved through a decision from the Court.

Dokdo is an island of great historical meaning in that it is an area that Korea has finally restored from the aftermaths of Japanese imperialists’ harsh colonial rule, which devastated the Korean people and the land. It is an obvious fact that Dokdo is an integral part of the Korea's territory, and Korea sees absolutely no reason as to why Korea should turn to a court. The only appropriate solution here is for Japan to relinquish its assertion, which is based on its dark colonial history that inflicted so much pain on its neighbors.

10.fig Fig. 10. Dokdo, a touchstone for a future-oriented relationship between Korea and Japan

Download

FILE
  • Northeast Asian History Foundation
  • Newsletter
  • DOKDO LIVE
  • NortheastAsia History Net
  • Dokdo Musium Seoul
  • Archive