Japan claims that Ahn Yong-bok’s statement is not reliable
The deposition of Ahn Yong-bok, on which the Republic of Korea bases its claim, contains many points that conflict with factual evidence and that are not included in Japanese records.
Japan’s claims is not true because...
the deposition of Ahn Yong-bok is supported by Korean and Japanese documents.
Ahn Yong-bok’s work in Japan facilitated the development of state-level talks on Ulleungdo between Joseon and Japan, and eventually led Japan to recognize Ulleungdo and Dokdo as Korean territories. Despite slight differences in the records regarding Ahn’s activities between Joseon and Japan, it does not justify Japan’s assertion that Ahn’s statement is not credible.
※ Ahn’s activities in Japan are also recorded in important government publications of the Joseon government, including the Veritable Records of King Sukjong (Sukjong sillok), Diary of the Royal Secretariat (Seungjeongwon ilgi), and Reference Compilation of Materials on Korea (Dongguk munheon bigo) as well as in Japanese texts, including “Records on Takeshima” (Takeshima kiji), “Excerpts from The Record on the Background of the Passage to Takeshima” (Takeshima tokai yuraiki basho hikae), “Chronology of Inaba Province” (Inpu nenpyo), and “A Study of Takeshima” (Takeshima ko).
Regarding Ahn’s second visit to Japan in 1696, the Veritable Records of King Sukjong records that he stated to a Japanese fisherman in Ulleungdo that “Matsushima [that is, Dokdo] is Jasando [that is, Dokdo], and that is Korean territory,” and went to Japan to protest against Japanese entry there.
According to the “One Volume Memorandum Concerning the Korean Boat that Came Alongside the Pier in the Ninth Year of Genroku ” (Genroku kyu heishi-nen Joseon fune chakugan ikkan oboegaki
), Ahn Yong-bok argued that Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo] and Matsushima [that is, Dokdo] are under the jurisdiction of Gangwon-do, in Joseon. This supports Ahn’s statement in the Veritable Records of King Sukjong. (See Material 8.)
Japan also cast doubts over Ahn’s report that he met Japanese fishermen in Ulleungdo in the fifth month of 1696 based upon the fact that the passage to the island was prohibited in the first month of 1696. However, the Edo Shogunate’s order banning Japanese passage to Ulleungdo, which was issued in the first month of 1696, was not immediately delivered to the Oya and Murakawa families. Joseon received that order in the tenth month of the same year. Thus, it is unreasonable to argue that Ahn’s statement is not reliable simply because the order prohibiting the passage to Ulleungdo was issued in the first month.
- MATERIAL 8. The oral report from “One-Volume Memorandum Concerning the Korean Boat that Came Alongside the Pier in the Ninth Year of Genroku ”
This is a Japanese document relating Ahn’s activities during his second visit to Japan. According to this report, Ahn clearly argued that Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo] and Matsushima [that is, Dokdo] belonged to Joseon’s Gangwon-do.