• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Elementary Student Version

2. Refuting False Claims

Seung-ju’s father is a TV reporter. Seung-ju accompanied his father on a business trip to Japan because he was curious why Japan claims Dokdo as its own territory.
Seung-ju’s father spoke with an expert on Japan who is also a professor emeritus at Shimane University. Despite being Japanese, this professor said Dokdo is not part of Japan. Seung-ju was surprised to see a Japanese person say Dokdo belongs to Korea.
Seung-ju decided to try to find other Japanese people who are critical of their government’s claim that Dokdo is part of Japan.
Let’s understand each other through Dokdo!
Korea•Japan Academic Seminar

○ Let’s take a look at the claims of Japanese people who say Dokdo is Korean territory.

Ezaki Hideyuki (▶ Occupation: Pastor)
Pastor Ezaki Hideyuki quoted two books,”Dokdo: At the Center of Japanese-Korean Relations” and “The Rough Sketch of Isotakeshima,” to claim that Dokdo is Korean land. Based on the data, Pastor Ezaki said the claim that Japan controlled Ulleungdo is false, and, furthermore, during the Meiji period Japan said that the country had no relation to Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Pastor Ezaki presented data to support these statements in claiming that Dokdo belongs to Korea.
Naitō Seichū (▶ Occupation: Professor)
A professor emeritus at Shimane University, in Japan, Naitō Seichū posted information to refute all ten claims of the Japanese government on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage. Professor Naitō stated that Koreans have accepted Dokdo as an island of Ulleungdo from a long time ago, and that Japan stole Dokdo during the Russo-Japanese War.

■ Let’s hear the perspectives of Pastor Ezaki and Professor Naitō and share our thoughts.

After listening to Japanese people discuss Dokdo, Seung-ju began to think differently.

He was very surprised to find that there were even Japanese people who say that Dokdo is Korea’s land.

So that’s why people need to talk to each other. Discussion is needed to understand each other.

Seung-ju realized that he was wrong to think that all Japanese people were self-centered.

There are plenty of logical Japanese people, too. We need to talk with these people about Dokdo.

I think we need to talk about Dokdo and both our nations’ histories with Japanese elementary school students.

As we discuss our two countries’ histories, we can narrow our differences of opinion and resolve our conflicts wisely.
Aha! Japanese people can be reasonable, too!

○ Let’s take a look at the conversation Seung-ju had with his Japanese friend about Dokdo.

Seung-ju talked to his Japanese friend Akiko (they usually chat online about Dokdo).

Akiko, I think Dokdo is definitely Korea’s land.

As far as I know, Dokdo is Japanese land. Could you be mistaken?

No. Dokdo was part of Korea from a long time ago.

Oh, really? I wonder why we think differently?

Let’s take a look at Dokdo-related documents instead of simply insisting our own view is right.

Okay. Let’s look for Dokdo-related data and use it for a discussion to find out who is right.
Dokdo is Korean land!
No, Dokdo is Japanese territory!
Then let’s look for Dokdo-related material and talk about it.

○ Let’s look at the contents of Seung-ju and Akiko’s discussion about the Dokdo-related evidence they examined.

· The first Korean record of Dokdo sent by Seung-ju
This book is called Samguk sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) and was written in 1145 by Kim Bu-sik. General Kim Isabu’s conquest of Usan in 512 is recorded in this book.

· Japan’s first ever record of Dokdo sent by Akiko
This document, “Onshū shichō gōki” (“Records on Observations on Oki”), was written in 1667 and was the first Japanese book to mention Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Comparing the records, I can see that Korea governed Dokdo from a very long time ago.

So Korea knew about Dokdo about 1150 years before us and also governed Dokdo from that time.
· Korea’s 19th century Dokdo records sent by Seungju to Akiko
This book was completed in 1808 and is called Mangi yoram (Essentials of Governance). In this book it is recorded that Ulleungdo and Usando (Dokdo) are both lands that belong to Usan.

· The Japanese Dokdo records from the nineteenth century sent by Akiko to Seung-ju
If you look at this book, in October of 1876, Shimane Prefecture asked the Meiji government whether to include Ulleungdo and Dokdo as part of the prefecture. In 1877, Japan’s highest decision-making office replied that Dokdo has no relation to Japan. (“本邦關係無之” -- no relation to Japan). You see the part underlined in red, right? That means Ulleungdo and Dokdo have no relation to Japan.

I thought Dokdo belonged to Japan, but it actually belongs to Korea!
Seung-ju and Akiko used not only Korean and Japanese books, but also Dokdo-related government documents, old maps, stories of Japan colonizing Korea, the United Nations Headquarters’ demand that Japan return Dokdo to its rightful owner following World War II, and other historical documents on which to base their discussion.

Seung-ju, as we discussed Dokdo together I realized I was misinformed.

Oh, really? The information you sent me helped me a lot in understanding about Dokdo.

If I had not had this discussion with you I would have continued to think Dokdo is part of Japan.

It’s too bad there are still many Japanese people who are still misinformed about Dokdo.

Yeah, I think I understand how you feel. I really felt bad when I discovered that Dokdo is not Japanese land. However, since there are so many documents to prove it, I think it is only natural that I admit it to be true.

Just as the two of us did today, I hope Korea and Japan can share many discussions about this issue and resolve it soon.

I think so, too. If these two close countries help each other in a variety of ways, they will develop further.
○ Let’s find a way to discuss the issues between the two countries that can help resolve the problem wisely.

■ Let’s write a letter to compliment and encourage Seung-ju and Akiko for their exchange about Dokdo.

■ Let’s write down a wise way to solve the problem between Japan and Korea.

The most important thing for solving this problem between the two countries is serious conversation!

○ Let’s try to persuade others through a variety of evidence that Dokdo is Korean land.

■ Let’s decorate a postcard to let people know that Dokdo is Korean land.

■ Let’s pretend to be a VANK kid and send an e-mail to request that incorrect information about Dokdo and the East Sea be fixed.

Activity Method
1. Find websites where Dokdo and the East Sea are misidentified
2. Write a letter requesting that incorrect names be corrected
3. Send an e-mail to the site’s administrator
4. VANK Activity Report
Kids VANK homepage (www.kids.prkorea.com)
➞ “Send a complaint” Go to menu ➞ Post a report
Example of a cyber diplomat (VANK) e-mail letter of protest
I'm a Korean student working for VANK, Voluntary Agency Network of Korea. I'm writing to you to ask you to rename one of the islands in your map. I'm wondering if you have heard of “Dokdo,” which is a group of small islets in the East Sea, a body of water between Korea and Japan. The islets are administered by Korea and the Korean Coast Guard is stationed there.
“Dokdo” is called “Liancourt Rocks” on your site map. I think that “Liancourt Rocks” is not the proper name of “Dokdo.” “Liancourt Rocks,” the French-English name of the islets, is derived from “Leiancourt,” the name of a French whaling ship that came close to being wrecked on the rocks in 1849.
Dokdo is a part of Korean territory, and this is supported by much historical evidence. I would be happy to send you this evidence. Your consideration to change the name of the islets from “Liancourt Rocks” to “Dokdo” will be most appreciated.
Best Wishes,

■Write My Own Letter of Complaint

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■ Working as a Cyber Diplomat


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