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

1. How do people around the world know about Dokdo?

After receiving Diana’s email, Seung-ju decided to see how Dokdo and the East Sea are labeled on foreign maps.
The United States Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook
In the CIA’s “World Factbook” Dokdo is labeled as “Liancourt Rocks”.[note 007]
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The 2005 edition of the National Geographic World Atlas
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On the National Geographic’s Internet map service, the East Sea is labeled as the “East Sea/Sea of Japan” in Korea and as the “Sea of Japan/East Sea” in Japan. And while Ulleungdo is labeled Ulleung, Dokdo is not marked.
Seung-ju felt bad and asked the teacher why Dokdo and East Sea are written like that.


“Teacher! Why do so many countries around the world write Dokdo and the East Sea like this on their maps?”

“That’s a good question. It is because Japan is actively informing others that Dokdo is Takeshima and the East Sea is the Sea of Japan.”

“How are they doing that?”

“The menu on the homepage of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes “Takeshima” and “Sea of Japan” and includes claims in many languages that Dokdo is part of Japan. In addition, Japan is sending information to overseas tourism bureaus claiming Dokdo is their land.”

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage (http://www.mofa.go.jp)
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Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage includes Japan’s stance on Dokdo in Korean and other languages, as well.


In Japan, Dokdo is known as Takeshima.
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Japan is making promotional materials like the one below, falsely claiming in several languages that Dokdo is part of Japan.

■ Let’s sum up Japan’s efforts to inform the world that Dokdo is their territory.



■ Let’s look at the materials on the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage (www.mofa.go.kr) and sum up why Japan’s claim to Dokdo is incorrect.


Our teacher told us when Japan started making territorial claims to Dokdo.
In 1877, Japan’s highest decision-making office, the Daijōkan (Great Council of State), came to the conclusion that Dokdo was not part of Japan.
So Japan knew from long ago that Dokdo was not its territory?
If you look at the map drawn by the Japanese Navy, up to February 1905 Dokdo was considered Joseon (Korean) territory.
Then since when did Japan claim Dokdo as its territory?
In 1905, at a Japanese government Cabinet meeting, it was decided that Dokdo was part of Japan, specifically, of Shimane Prefecture.
From then on, Dokdo is Japanese territory!
From then on, Japan made every effort to have Dokdo referred to as “Takeshima” in Japanese documents as well as in western maps.
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In a 1936 map drawn by the Japanese Land Survey, Dokdo is labeled “Jookdo,” but, along with Ulleungdo, is shown as Korean land.
Japan’s Land Survey Department
Up to 1936 Japan on and off called Dokdo its own land.
Isn’t Dokdo part of Joseon (Korea)?
No, Dokdo is Japanese territory!
Since 1940, land and sea maps and charts published in Japan all use “Takeshima” and not Dokdo.
After World War II ended in 1945, Japan continued to claim Dokdo as Japanese territory.
This is the background of Japan claiming today that Dokdo is their land.
Ah hah! That’s how this came about!
Dokdo is Korean territory
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[note 007]
The name given to Dokdo when discovered by a French whaling ship in 1849
[note 007] Liancourt Rocks
The name given to Dokdo when discovered by a French whaling ship in 1849
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