Why is Dokdo a Korean island, and Takeshima a fiction?

See the proofs: A mountain of evidences proves that Dokdo has always been a Korean island.



Dokdo is a Korean island in the East Sea – a little sister of Ulleungdo island. The Japanese government insists that there is no proof that Dokdo has historically been a Korean island. Contrary to the Japanese allegation, there is overwhelming evidence that Dokdo has been a Korean island from prehistoric times.


I. What is Dokdo?

II. The Japanese Allegations

III. Takeshima does not exist!

IV. Proof of the Korean ownership of Dokdo

1.You can see Dokdo from Ulleungdo.

2.Koreans have inhabited Ulleungdo from prehistoric times.

3.Shilla, a Korean kingdom, conquered and annexed the local kingdom of Usan-guk in 512 A.D.

4.Dokdo is included in Usan-guk.

5.An official expedition from a Korean government has been to Dokdo in 1476.

6.Old Korean history books prove that Usan is Dokdo.

7.The Ahn Yong-bok incident: Koreans expel Japanese trespassers from Dokdo in 1696.

8.Old Korean maps prove that Dokdo belongs to Korea.

9.In 1836, the Japanese government declares that Dokdo is a forbidden foreign territory.

10.In 1877, the Japanese government disowns Dokdo.

11.Old Japanese maps show that Dokdo belongs to Korea.

12.The “Shimane notice” is null and void because it was a secret.

13.Dokdo was administratively incorporated into the Korean empire in 1900.

14.Dokdo was administered by the Korean government until Japan stripped sovereignty of Korea in 1905.

15.The transfer of Dokdo from the Allied Powers to Korea on August 15, 1948 is valid because Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration.

16.The Japanese claim to Diaoyutai Islands requires acceptance of Dokdo as a Korean territory.

17.Japanese laws exclude Dokdo from the jurisdiction of the Japanese government.

18.Japan promised to recognize all acts and omissions of the Allied Powers in the 1951 Treaty.

19.Korea has Dokdo by de facto control since 1948.

V. Who is more credible?

This article is available in the following languages: English,French(Français), Spanish(Español), German(Deutsch), Arabic(العربية), andHindi(हिन्दी). Also, another article titled Dokdo Island elaborates on all aspects of Dokdo in detail.

Photo above: View of Dokdo from space (source: Korea Aerospace Research institute

I. What is Dokdo?

Dokdo (“독도” in Korean), also called the Dokdo island, is a group of islands in the East Sea (Sea of Japan). These islands are collectively called Dokdo. The name means a “rock island.” Dokdo has been a Korean territory throughout all known history except during the Japanese occupation of Korea between 1905 and 1945.

Dokdo is also called Liancourt Rocks after the French whaling ship,Le Liancourt, which rediscovered Dokdo on January 27, 1849. The Japanese name for Dokdo used to be Matsushima (松島) until 1905, at which time it was renamed as Takeshima (竹島) along with a Japanese territorial claim.

Dokdo has been under the control of South Korean since August 15, 1948, on which the Korea-based U.S. XXIV Corps transferred Dokdo to the newly born Republic of Korea.

Picture above: Location of Dokdo

Photo above: Dokdo – “home of birds”

Photo above: Underwater scenery: Fishes abound at Dokdo

II. The Japanese Allegations

The Japanese government challenges Korea’s territorial sovereignty over Dokdo. The Japanese government also alleges that Koreans illegally occupy Dokdo because Dokdo belongs to Japan byterra nulliusincorporation (incorporation of land owned by nobody) in 1905. In fact, the Japanese government decided to escalate the conflict by teaching their children that Takeshima (Dokdo) is a Japanese territory taken by the Koreans. To support their position, the Japanese government alleges that there is no evidence that Dokdo has historically been controlled by Korea whatsoever! For example, see the contents of the official website of the Foreign Ministry of Japan: http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/takeshima/index.html. The local government of Shimane Prefecture of Japan makes essentially the same claim (See here: http://www.pref.shimane.lg.jp/soumu/takesima_eng/).

In contrast, the South Korean government asserts that Korea has owned Dokdo all along since the beginning of known history. Seehttp://www.korea.net/. Surely, one party must be grossly wrong. Who is wrong and who is right?

III. Takeshima does not exist!

“Takeshima” as a new island that was newly discovered in 1905 and incorporated into Japan, has never existed! How is this possible? First, the island that Japan claimed to be “new” was not new at all, but has been known since the beginning of known Korean history. This island had also been previously known to Japan as Matsushima, and Japan repeatedly disowned it because Japan recognized this island as a Korean island. Second, this island was already administered by Korea before 1905 under a modern administrative decree issued in 1900 by the Korean Empire. Third, although Japan pretends that a notice was issued on the subject of the annexation of Dokdo, any kind of notice that Japan allegedly made was in reality a stealthy notice that even the Japanese public did not know, let alone any Koreans.

The term “Takeshima” is a recycling of a word that referred to another island of Korea, Ulleungdo. The Japanese name for Dokdo was Matsushima until 1905. The “Shimane notice” of 1905 created the fantasy of a new island that belonged to no one in the middle of the East Sea. The name “Takeshima,” an old Japanese name for Ulleungdo was assigned to this new creation. But both Korea and Japan have known about this island for many centuries. Therefore, “Takeshima” as a new island discovered in 1905 does not exist. See the table below for the names of Ulleungdo and Dokdo at various times.

Korean name for Ulleungdo Korean name for Dokdo Japanese name for Ulleungdo Japanese name for Dokdo
before the 15th century Mulleung (of Usan-guk) Usan (of Usan-guk) no record no record

until 1900
Takeshima Matsuchima
between 1900 and 1905 Uldo Seokdo, Dolseom no record no record
After 1905 Ulleungdo
Ulleungdo Takeshima(a new island)

The Japanese word, “Takeshima,” means a “bamboo island.” This word made sense when it originally meant Ulleungdo before 1900 because there are many bamboos and trees in Ulleungdo. However, there are absolutely no bamboos or trees in Dokdo! Only shrubs are present there because the soil is rocky! A very comic situation occurred in 1905 when the Japanese made up a new name for Dokdo, which happened to be a previous name for a fertile island.

The term “Takeshima” in the present usage refers to a Japanese fantasy of an island that was newly discovered in 1905. But older Japanese records and Korean records establish that this island was not new at all. The new island does not exist! Borrowing an expression from children’s stories,the emperor is naked! “Takeshima” does not exist!

Despite such an obvious fallacy, the Japanese government alleges that “Takeshima” belongs to Japan because Japan claimed it for the first time and that there is no record establishing Korean dominion over this island. Do such records exist or not?

V. Proof of Korean ownership of Dokdo

There is overwhelming evidence that Dokdo was controlled by the Koreans before 1905. Here is a collection that refutes the official position of the Japanese government.

1. You can see Dokdo from Ulleungdo.

Dokdo and Ulleungdo (pronounced “ool-lung-daw”) are visible from each other. Anyone living in Ulleungdo for long enough knows that Dokdo is out there. But Dokdo cannot be seen from any Japanese island at all.

Photo above: Dokdo can be seen from Ulleungdo. (Source: Dokdo Center)

2. Koreans have inhabited Ulleungdo from prehistoric times.

Korean people lived in Ulleungdo since prehistoric times. Three Korean styledolmens(고인돌; goindol) attributable to a period between about 300 B.C. to about 1 A.D. have been located in Ulleungdo. Dolmens are ancient tombs of the bronze age and the early iron age. The Korean peninsula contains about 40 % of all dolmens in the world. The majority of the rest of the dolmens are within Manchuria, which was within the territory of the ancient Korean kingdom ofGojoseon( ~ 2333 B.C to 108 B.C.). The dolmens prove that Koreans lived in Ulleungdo at that time. Seehttp://blog.dokdo.korea.com/?page=2for further archeological details.

Photo above: An example of a Korean dolmen.

The rock carvings at Bangudae (반구대), Ulsan in Korea, shows images of whaling ships that accommodate about 20 sailors. If the ancient Koreans could sail to Ulleungdo to live there even if they cannot see Ulleungdo from the Korean mainland, surely they must have sailed to Dokdo that they could see from Ulleungdo.

Photo above:

Scholars believe that the rock carvings at Bangudae were made between the neolithic age and early iron age over a period of time.

3.Shilla, a Korean kingdom, conquered and annexed the local kingdom of Usan-guk in 512 A.D.

The first written reference to Dokdo appears in a Korean history book titled “Samguk Sagi” (삼국사기,三國史記;meaning “History of Three Kingdoms”) which was compiled in 1145 A.D. According toSamguk Sagi, Isabu, a general of Shilla, conquered and annexed “Usan-guk,” which refer to Ulleungdo and Dokdo collectively.

Picture above: The campaign of Isabu Kim in 512 A.D.

Photo above: A page ofSamguk Sagithat describes theconquest and annexation of “Usan-guk” by Shilla, a Korean kingdom.

4. Dokdo is included in Usan-guk.

Usan-guk includes the two islands of Mulleung and Usan, according to old Korean records such as “Sejong Shillok Jiriji,” a publication in 1454 A.D. According to this record, the two islands are separated far enough so that they can be seen from each other only on a clear day. Only the pair of Ulleungdo and Dokdo satisfies this condition in the East Sea.

Photo above: Another record,Goryeosa(고려사; 高麗史; “History of Goryeo”) Jiriji (geography section), which was published in 1451, provides a similar description asSejoing Shillok Jirijiof 1454.

5. An official expedition from a Korean government has been to Dokdo in 1476.

Annals of King Seongjong report an expedition to Dokdo in 1476. In this record, Dokdo is referred to as Sambongdo.

Picture above: Reconstruction of the estimated route of the party of Ja-Ju Kim in their voyage to and from Sambongdo in 1476.

6. Old Korean history books prove that Usan is Dokdo.

Some Korean history books provide an explicit description of ownership of Dokdo. A 1756 History book titled “Border History” (강계고;疆界考) by Gyeong-Jun Shin describes historical borders of the Korean territory. A pertinent section states:

“In my considered opinion, the statement in Yeojiji (여지지;輿地志; note: Presently, no extant copy of this book is available) is correct, which states that ‘although some dumb people theorize that Ulleungdo and Usan are one island, consideration of many maps leads to the conclusion that there are two distinct islands. One is what the Japanese refer to as Songdo (송도;松島; Matsushima in Japanese). These two islands belong to Usan-guk (于山國).'”

Other Korean history books that also show Korean ownership of Dokdo include:Mangi Yoram(만기요람;萬機要覽)of 1808,History of the East(해동역사;海東繹史) of 1823, andRevised Encyclopedia of Records(증보문헌비고;增補文獻備考) of 1907.

7. The Ahn Yong-bok incident: Koreans expel Japanese trespassers from Dokdo in 1696.

The Ahn Yong-bok incident of 1696 demonstrates the exerciseof exclusive dominion over Dokdo by the Koreans. Yong-bok Ahn was a local man of Ulleungdo that exercised the property rights of Korea against the Japanese fishermen in 1693 and 1696, pretty much the same way that a homeowner expels an intruder from his home. Subsequently,inspectors were dispatched every three years by the Korean government to Ulleungdo and Gajido (Dokdo) afterYong-bok Ahn’s action to ensure that no Japanese activity was carried out thereaccording tothe Annals of King Jeongjo (1776-1800). Once again,two islands are mentioned.

Photo above: a page from Mangi Yoram on the Ahn Yong-bok incident: “Yong-bok followed them to Songdo and scolded them again. “Songdo is Usando. Have you not heard that Usando is our land?” And he used a big stick to destroy their large cooking pot. The Japanese were scared and ran away. Yong-bok went to Baekgi-Ju (伯耆州,referring to Shimane Prefecture)and told the story (to the government officials of that place). The governor punished them (the Japanese sailors).”

Photo above: A Japanese document, generated by a local official of Oki island in Japan in 1696 immediately after the Ahn Yong-bok incident, reads”8 Provinces of Chosun: Gyeonggi Province, Gangweon Province – within this Province exists Takeshima and Matsushima, Jeonla Province, Chungcheong Province, ….”

Photo above: After the Ahn yong-bok incident, Tokugawa shogunate (the Japanese government) sent a letter to the government of Chosun (Korea) in 1697 to notify that they had placed a ban on travel to Ulleungdo. While Dokdo is not mentioned in this document, inclusion of Dokdo in the ban was understood because Dokdo “belonged to” Ulleungdo. The actions of the Japanese government during the subsequent enforcement of the ban demonstrate that Dokdo was also included in the ban.

8. Old Korean Maps prove that Dokdo belongs to Korea.

Due to the sheer number of available Korean maps that identify Dokdo as Korean territory, only two examples are provided here.

8.1Carte de laCoréeof 1846 by Dae-Geun Kim

Photos below: “Carte de laCorée,” a map of Korea completed in 1846 by Dae-Geun Kim, made its way to Europe, and became the prototype map of many subsequent European maps. The original map was written in French, in which Ulleungdo was listed as “Oulangto” and Dokdo was listed as “Ousan,” a French transliteration of Usan (우산,芋山).

8.2Daedong Yeojidoof 1861 by Jeong-ho Kim

Photo below: A copy of a high resolution map of Korea, theDaedong Yeojido(대동여지도,大東輿地圖), published in 1861 by Jeong-ho Kim (김정호) and recently discovered in the Library of Japanese Parliament in 1997, schematically shows Dokdo.

9. In 1836, the Japanese government declares that Dokdo is a forbidden foreign territory.

Since the Ahn Yong-bok incident, the Japanese government placed a ban on seafaring into foreign countries. Later on, a young venturous Japanese man namedAizuya Hachiemon(會津屋八右衛門 or会津屋八右衛門; あいずやはちえもん, 1798 – 1836) was captured, tried, and executed by the Japanese government for illegally operating a cargo vessel to Ulleungdo. At the trial of Aizuya Hachiemon, the Japanese government made it clear that Dokdo, as well as Ulleungdo, is included in the ban on seafaring.

Photo above: text of an edict from the Shogunate after the Aizuya Hachiemon case.

Photo above: Aizuya Hachiemon’s map that accompanied the Shogunate edict.

To ensure that everyone understood the ban on travel to UlleungdoORDokdo, Matsudaira Hamada (松平浜田), who was the ruler of Shimane prefecture, issued a 4-page document titled “Ohesoozebonzangu (御解書御諸本帳;オヘソオゼボンザング) in 1838.Allvillages leaders had to read this document and put their signature on the last page of the document in acknowledgment.

Photo above: First page of the public notice banning entry to Ulleungdo and Dokdo that was issued pursuant to disposition of Aizuya Hachiemon case.

10. In 1877, the Japanese government disowns Dokdo.

A conclusive evidence comes from an 1877 Daijokan order (太政官指令), i.e., an order issued by Daijokan (太政官), the supreme governmental authority of Japan at that time. This document states that Ulleungdo and Dokdo have nothing to do with Japan, i.e., Dokdo is a Korean territory. This document is also referred to as a 1877 Kobunruko (公文録)document (meaning “official document”).

Photo above: The 1877Daijokandocument.

“About the inquiry regarding the compilation of the cadastre forTakeshima and another islandin the Sea of Japan:Shimane Prefecture sent us an inquiry for a judgment on the jurisdiction of Takeshima as per attachments and this ministry has examined the matter. Regarding the islands in question, they are known to have nothing to do with our country as per documents, prepared in the first month of the 9th year ofGenroku (note:1696) after the entry of the Koreans into the island. The examined documents include:

1. the purport of the deliberation by the former government;

2. notification of the official interpreter translator;

3. the official letter from the country involved; and

4. our country’s reply and report.

In other words by the 12th year ofGenroku, the exchange of instruments had been completed. However, the acquisition or derelection of a territory being of great importance, we request your instruction on this question with the papers attached hereto.

March 17th, 10th year of Meiji.

Acting for the Minister of Home Affairs,Okubo Toshimichi,

Vice Minister of Home Affairs;Meijima Hisoka,

Udaijin (note: the third highest official ofDaijokan);Iwakura Tomomi:

Concerning the inquiry about Takeshima and another island, Make sure that you fully understand (心得) thatthey have nothing to do with our country.

March 29th, 10th year of Meiji.”

Photo above: themap attached to the 1877Daijokandocuments. Ulleungdo (“磯竹島”) and Dokdo (“松島”) are shown with Oki island to the bottom right. The name and the features of Dokdo establish the identity.

11. Old Japanese maps show that Dokdo belongs to Korea.

All Japanese maps before the 18th century showing Dokdo connotes that Dokdo is a Korean territory either explicitly by color or by accompanying comments, or impliedly by placement in proximity to Ulleungdo.

Photo above:”Copper print of the whole map of Chosun country”printed in 1882 in Japan. All territories of Japan are shaded, while Ulleungdo and Dokdo are not, showing the the islands of Ulleungdo and Dokdo were considered to be Korean territory at this time.

Even Japanese maps made during the colonial rule of Korea under Japan (1905 – 1945) admit that Dokdo originally belonged to Korea before annexation.

Photo above:”Land Survey Department District SummaryMap” (陸地測量部發行地圖區域一覽圖(其一))of 1936 published from the Japanese Command categorizes Dokdo as a territory “acquired after Meiji restoration” of 1867.

12. The “Shimane notice”isnull and voidbecause it wasa secret.

Japan alleges thatShimane Prefecture Notice No. 40 of 1905 incorporated Dokdo into the Japanese territory because it was not owned by anyone at that time. Examination of the notice reveals that this was a secret document that was forbidden from copying. Yet Japan alleges that this single copy of a secret document serves as a “notice.” Also, note that this alleged notice was issued by a local government, not bythe central government of Japan.

Proponents of the japanese claims emphasize that an article on this “notice” was published in a private local newspaper (not in a national newspaper) within Shimane prefecture. But why should any foreign government pay attention to an obscure article in a local newspaper? Surely, the Japanese government could not possibly be proposing that every foreign government should be collecting all provincial newspapers of Japan, written in Japanese, and analyze them every single day.

What notice? To whom? The “Shimane notice” is completely ineffective as any legal notice.

Photos above: the only original of Shimane notice No. 40

“Shimane Prefecture Notice No. 40

The island located at North Latitude 37° 9′ 30″, East Meridian 131° 55′, 85 nautical miles northwest of Oki island shall be called Takeshima, and shall be under the jurisdiction of the governor of Oki island.

February 22, 1905

Provincial Governor BukichiMatsunaga


13. Dokdo was administratively incorporated into the Korean Empire in 1900.

Photo above: The original of the Imperial Ordinance No. 41of the Korean Empire (October 25, 1900)

Photo above: A publication of the Imperial Ordinance No. 41 in an Official Gazette of the Korean Empire:

“Imperial Ordinance No. 41

Name change from “Ulleungdo” to “Uldo” and the change of the position of Island Director (“Dogam”) to District Governor (“Gunsu’)

Article 1. The name of Ulleungdo shall be Uldo. …;

Article 2. The location of the district office shall be in Samchukdong (a smaller territorial division within Ulleungdo), the jurisdiction of the district office shall encompass the entireisland of Ulleungdo(Ulleungjundo; i.e., Ulleungdo and other minor islands nearby), Jukdo, and Seokdo (i.e. Dokdo);

Article 3. …

October 25, 1900

Imperial Signature (Seal with the Emperor’s handwriting);

Imperial Seal, Affixed;

Commanded by the Cabinet, State Division, Temporary Prime Minister Secretary of Internal Affairs. Geon-Hah Lee

Picture above: location of Ulleungdo, Jukdo, and Seokdo in a view from the sky. Dokdo is outside the range of this picture (87.4 kilometers away).

14. Dokdo was administered by the Korean government until Japan stripped sovereignty of Korea in 1905.

The fact that the Korean government considered Dokdo within the administrative District of Uldo after Imperial ordinance No. 41 is clear from the report of March 29, 1906 by the District Governor Heung-Taek Shim. Korea became a protectorate of Japan in 1905, thereby losing a status of an independent nation. Although Koreans could not do much about Dokdo under the Japanese rule until 1945, this report establishes that Dokdo was under Korean control until Japan took away Korean sovereignty in 1905.

Photo above: a copy of the report dated April 29, 1906 and written by the District Governor, Heung-Taek Shim, to the Provincial Governor of Gangweondo.

“Dokdo(獨島) is under the administration of our District (本郡) that is located in the outer sea at a distance of 100 some ri (40 km +). … A party of Japanese officials came to our governmental office and said ‘Now that Dokdo (獨島) has become(爲) a territory of Japan, we have come to inspect it.’ …Thus, I (Heung-Taek Shim, the District Governor of Uldo) report this incident for your consideration. Respectfully Submitted. …”

15. The transfer of Dokdo from the Allied Powers to Korea on August 15, 1948 is valid because Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration.

The Cairo declarationof December 1, 1943 states:

Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed.

Article 8 ofthe Potsdam declarationof July 26, 1945 states:

The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall belimited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islandsas we determine.

Japan accepted these terms when it unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Powers on August 15, 1945.The Japanese Instrument of Surrendersigned on September 2, 1945 states

We,, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the declaration issuedat Potsdam.

The U.S. XXIV Corps, as a representative of all nations in the Allied Powers, handed Dokdo over to the newly born Republic of Korea on August 15, 1948. By the act of transfer of Dokdo to the Korean government, the Allied Powers determined that Japanese sovereignty shall not extend to Dokdo. The acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration by Japan on August 15, 1945 makes the transfer of Dokdo from the Allied Powers to Korea valid and effective because the transfer of Dokdo wasan exercise of the determination of the Japanese territory by the Allied Powers. The Allied Powers have spoken through the act, and the decision still stands today. In addition, once Dokdo was given to Korea for whatever reason, Korea owns Dokdo and Japan cannot reclaim it.

16.The Japanese claim to Diaoyutai Islands requires acceptance of Dokdo as a Korean territory.

Diaoyutai islands( 釣魚台群島 or 钓鱼台群岛; orDiaoyu islands ( 釣魚島 or 钓鱼岛)), also called Senkaku Islands (尖閣諸島 ) by Japan, are a group of islands that Japan currently controls based on an administrative transfer from the U.S. to Japan. Taiwan claims Diaoyutai Islands as its territory, and People’s Republic of China also claims that it belongs to China as its territory.

Photo above: location and transfer history of Dokdo and Diaoyutai islands

Could Japan seriously claim that the transfer of Dokdo from the U.S. to the Republic of Korea on August 15, 1948 is not valid? If the transfer of Dokdo to Korea is not valid, neither is the transfer of Diaoyutai islands to Japan. Consequently, Japanese occupation of Diaoyutai Islands would be illegal! To maintain the Japanese claim to Diaoyutai islands, the Japanese government must acknowledge that the transfer of Dokdo to Korea is legal. Otherwise, Japan must discuss the disposition of Diaoyutai Islands with Taiwan and China immediately!

17. Japanese laws exclude Dokdo from the jurisdiction of the Japanese government.

Japan passed many laws that excluded Dokdo from the Japanese territory even after the Second World War and well after founding of the Republic of Korea on August 15, 1948. For example, “Prime Minister’s Office Ordinance No. 42,” issued on June 6, 1951 and affirmed on July 8, 1960, states:

Article 2. Based on the provisions of Article 14 of this Ordinance, when the provisions of Cabinet Order No. 291, Article 2, Clause 1, Sub-clause 2 is applied, the following islands shall be excluded: … 3. Ulleungdo, Jeju Island, and Takeshima; …

Another example of a Japanese law which excludes Dokdo from the jurisdiction of the Japanese government is “Ministry of Finance Decree No. 4,” issued on February 13, 1951 and affirmed on June 26, 1968. Such laws were still valid laws in Japan as of December 5, 2008! The Japanese government declared that the law of Japan does not reach the listed islands, which includes Dokdo. At the very least, it is clear that Dokdo was never considered as an inherent Japanese territory, contrary to assertions of some proponents of the Japanese claim.

18. Japan promised to recognize all acts and omissions of the Allied Powers in the 1951 Treaty.

The Treaty of Peace with Japan(also called “The Treaty of San Francisco) was signed between 49 nations of the Allied Powers and Japan on September 8, 1951 and took effect on April 28, 1952.

Article 19, (d) of the Treatystates:

(d) Japan recognizes the validity of all acts and omissions done during the period of occupation under or in consequence of directives of the occupation authorities or authorized by Japanese law at that time, and will take no action subjecting Allied nationals to civil or criminal liability arising out of such acts or omissions.

Korea-based U.S. XXIV Corps transferred Dokdo to the newly born government of the Republic of Korea on August 15, 1948, well before the Treaty. The transfer of Dokdo to Korea occurred either with the active support by the “occupation authorities” over Japan or with the passive omission to protest over the transfer by the “occupation authorities.” Therefore, Japan cannot claim Dokdo in violation of the Treaty of Peace with Japan.

19. Korea has Dokdo by de facto control since 1948.

Japan’s admission of the transfer of Dokdo to Korea includes not only the lack of protest after the initial transfer on August 15, 1948, but also Includes lack of any objection to the setting up of Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ), established by the U.S. Air Force’s Pacific Command in 1950 during the rule of the Allied Powers. Once again, this occurred before the Treaty of Peace with Japan.

Photo to the left: A U.N. and U.S. Army map of KADIZ (Korean Air Defense Identification Zone) published in June, 1950 at the outbreak of the Korean War. Dokdo is clearly located within the area identified as KADIZ.

Photo to the left: A U.S. Air Force map of 1987. The boundary between Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) and Japanese Air Defense Identification Zone (JADIZ) is clearly identified. Dokdo is located at the center of the red circle, which is well within the area of KADIZ.

V. Who is more credible?

Despite the collection of evidences shown above, the Japanese government continues to deny that Korea owned Dokdo before 1905. Inevitably, the author’s credibility and the Korean government’s credibility are weighed against the credibility of the Japanese government.

On the one hand, you can check the credentials of the author here. His life is no secret. The author is not aware of deceitful practices of the South Korean government. If anyone knows of a dubious or unethical act of the South Korean government that would cause an international incident, such a person may fairly bring forth allegations to undermine the credibility of the South Korean government.

On the other had, the records of the Japanese government do not seem to be very clean. The Japanese government continued to deny the existence of forced prostitution by “comfort women” during the Second World War until July 30, 2007, when the House of Representatives of the U.S. passed resolution 121 that states “Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner.”

“Unit 731,” a Japanese army unit that was stationed in Manchuria between 1937 and 1945, performed vivisection on over 10,000 human victims. This had also been suppressed by the Japanese government for a long time.

The Japanese confiscated and burned all Korean history books that they could find in an effort to eradicate the Korean identity during their colonial rule between 1905 and 1945.

While Japanese history textbooks elaborate on the Japanese casualties (between 170,000 to 260,000 people) from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the same textbooks omit the atrocities that Japan committed during the imperial expansion so that the Japanese public is unaware that other countries actually suffered. For example, the “Rape of Nanking(南京),” or theNanking Massacre, in which between 150,000 and 300,000 Chinese civilians were massacred between December 1937 and February 1938, is glossed over or not mentioned in the Japanese textbooks.

To this day, Japanese politicians visit theYasukuni Shrine(靖国神社) to honor the war criminals of the Second World War as their national heroes. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany. Yet war criminals are honored in Japan! Can you imagine a German chancellor visiting Hitler’s grave? Yet we have a Japanese equivalent! Where do you see conscience and principle?

If you were the judge of this case, which side would you believe, the Korean side or the Japanese side?

This article is a summary of a full article titledDokdo Island. If you are interested, feel free to review the full story in that article.

APPENDIX: about the East Sea

One more note before you finish reading this article:

Dokdo exists in the middle of “the East Sea.” This sea was called “Sea of Chosun (Sea of Korea;朝鮮海)” by the Japanese until the middle of the 19th Century. “Sea of Japan”(日本海)meant the Pacific until the middle of the 19th century to the Japanese. After the name, “the Pacific” became accepted across the world, Japan applied the name “Sea of Japan” to the sea previously known as “Sea of Chosun.” Now, who took someone else’s sea?

A Japanese map, published in 1830, shows the “Sea of Chosun”(朝鮮海),i.e., the Sea of Korea.

The name, “the East Sea” has been used by the Koreans at least since the first documented usage on “thesteleofKing GwanggaetoofGoguryeo”erectedin 414A.D.

The stele of King Gwanggaeto of Goguryeo (414 A.D.) shows the word “East Sea” (東海).

The usage of the word “Sea of Japan” has lasted only about 150 years. Further, the word, “Sea of Japan” is inherently unfair because it implies that Japan owns it. The North Sea is not called Sea of Britain or Sea of Norway although these countries border the North Sea. And the Norwegian Sea does not include the North Sea.

The gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia is called “the Persian Gulf,” but is not called “the Iranian Gulf.” This gulf is also called “the Arabian Gulf.” Based on the names, it is clear that Iran does not own the Persian Gulf. Thus, Bahrain cannot be in “the Iranian Gulf.”

But if the sea between Korea and Japan is called the Sea of Japan, this generates an impression that all islands in that sea belongs to Japan.

Under such circumstances, “the East Sea” is a more reasonable and neutral name. The name, Sea of Japan should be replaced with the name, the East Sea, to eliminate prejudice against the interests of other countries around the East Sea, which borders both Koreas, Russia, and Japan.We are not discussing the use of the name, “the Sea of Korea” here. When a person hears about Dokdo as “an island in the Sea of Japan,” the first inference would be that this island might belong to Japan because it is in the sea “of Japan.” And Japan is using this inference to assert their claim to Dokdo. Dear reader, there is one thing you can do here. Please use the word,”the East Sea” instead of the word, “the Sea of Japan” in your own language! If a name is used to unfairly prejudice a party by association, that is a bad name. The name, “the East Sea” must prevail here for the sake of justice.


“Dokdo was the first victim of the Japanese aggression upon Korea. Dokdo has come back to our bosom with our liberation. Dokdo is the symbol of Korean independence. Whoever touches this island should be prepared for the resistance of the entire Korean people! Dokdo is not just several rocks, but is the anchor of the honor of our people. How could we defend our independence after losing Dokdo! The Japanese attempt to take Dokdo means the resumption of their aggression upon Korea.”

July 8, 1953, Dr. Yung-Tai Pyun, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea.

Photo above:The bloodied jacket of Yong-Gi Moon (문용기;1878–1919). On April 4, 1919, Yong-Gi Moon led a peaceful demonstration in Iri, Korea, demanding Korean independence. As he was shouting“Korean Independence Forever!”with a Korean flag in his right hand, the Japanese military police cut off his right hand. As he picked up the Korean flag with his left hand and shouted“Korean Independence Forever!”again, the Japanese military police cut off his left hand. Raising what remained on his arms, he shouted“Korean Independence Forever!”once again, when the Japanese military police police thrust a sword into his heart. Today, all living Koreans shout yet again–“Korean Independence Forever!”

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