• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Junior High School Version

Discovery Learning 2


Japan’s Dokdo Argument 3: Japan established sovereignty over Dokdo in the mid-seventeenth century.[Teacher Notes]


Takeshima is full of trees and the fish are plentiful.
We could make a lot of money by selling them! Hehe.
But there’s one thing... It’s Joseon land!
Right! If we cross the border to Takeshima, we might get captured!
Then let’s ask for permission from the shogunate to fish near Takeshima.
Oh, I hadn’t thought of that. But do you really think they’ll give us permission?
Look, Murakawa! We got a permit from the shogunate.
You have permission to fish near Takeshima – The Shogunate-
Then let’s leave at once. There’s fish to be caught!
Takeshima is so far away. ... Let’s stop at Matsushima and take a break.
Wow! Matsushima is full of abalone and sea lions!
Ooh, that abalone looks delicious!
Let’s gain favor from the shogunate so we can continue to fish here!
Yeah! Let’s take these to the shogunate as a gift!
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The border crossing permit allowed the fishermen to go to another country’s territory for fishing and logging.
Discovery Learning 2
1. Why would Japanese fishermen require a border crossing permit from the shogunate to fish near Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (Dokdo)?[Answer]
2. To which country did Ulleungdo and Dokdo belong that the fishermen required a permit?[Answer]
3. Considering the fact that the Japanese fishermen required a permit to fish near Ulleungdo and Dokdo, is it appropriate for Japan to claim that its sovereignty over Dokdo was established in the mid-seventeenth century?[Answer]
4. The text Records on Observations on Oki (1667) includes the phrase, “The western boundary of Japan is determined to be the Oki Islands.” How is this document related to Japan’s claims of sovereignty over Dokdo in the mid-seventeenth century?[Answer]
 

Japan’s Dokdo Argument 4:Although Japan prohibited crossing of the border to sail to Ulleungdo in the late seventeenth century, sailing to Dokdo was still permitted.[Teacher Notes]


Look at the following images and determine whether Japan prohibited fishing near Dokdo or not.
Response to an inquiry made to the Edo shogunate for Matsue domain (1695)
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“‘Takeshima’ is not part of Inaba, in Hoki’s jurisdiction. I have heard that two merchants, Oya Kyūemon and Murakawa Ichibei, of Yonago in Hakushū, obtained sealed permits from Matsudaira Shintarō to cross the border for fishing operations. I have heard that they had crossed the border prior to receiving permits, but I am uncertain of those circumstances. … Including Takeshima and Matsushima, no other islands are part of the [Inaba and Hoki] jurisdiction.”
 
Jukdo (Ulleungdo) Border Crossing Prohibition (1696)
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… Previously, when Matsudaira Shintarō was a lord of Inshū and Hakushū, two merchants from Yonago in Hakushu, Murakawa Ichibei and Oya Jinkichi, crossed the border to Takeshima for fishing. Henceforth, crossing the border to Takeshima is prohibited.
 
“Takeshima” from these two documents refers to Ulleungdo, not Dokdo. At the time, Japan referred to Ulleungdo and Dokdo as Jukdo and Songdo, respectively. Oya family documents from 1659 and 1660 state that “Matsushima is located near Takeshima” and that “Matsushima is located within Takeshima.” Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the “Takeshima (Ulleungdo) border crossing prohibition” from 1696 includes Matsushima (Dokdo), as well.
Japanese have stated, ‘When traveling to Ulleungdo, Dokdo is used as a marina or an [note 120]” Therefore, a Dokdo border crossing permit did not exist. A separate Dokdo border crossing prohibition would be unnecessary.
When the Japanese shogunate prohibited traveling to Ulleungdo in the late seventeenth century, an inquiry was made to the Matsue domain. “Other than Takeshima (Ulleungdo), are any other islands excluded from Matsue domain jurisdiction?” In its reply, Matsue domain stated, “Including Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (Dokdo), there are no other islands included in the jurisdiction.” This reply clearly states that Ulleungdo and Dokdo were not part of Matsue domain’s jurisdiction.
An “eochaeji” is a preparation area for fishing and harvesting abalone.

Japan’s Dokdo Argument 5: The annexation of Dokdo by Shimane Prefecture in 1905 reaffirmed Japanese sovereignty.[Teacher Notes]


Japan has stated, “The decision to annex Dokdo into Shimane Prefecture in 1905 was a reaffirmation of ‘Dokdo’s sovereignty.’” This implies that Japan had always considered Dokdo to be Japanese territory. If that was the case, an annexation of Dokdo in 1905 would be illogical. No other country in the world has ever annexed land that was already considered to be its territory.
Despite this fact, Japan changed its position from “annexation of an uninhabited island” to “reaffirmation of sovereignty.” Japan’s evidence for the annexation of Dokdo is ambiguous at best.
In contrast, the Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of the Great Han Empire (1900) was a clear claim of sovereignty and a reorganization of the administrative district to which Dokdo belonged. Therefore, Japan’s claim of an “annexation of an uninhabited island” is false.

Japan’s Dokdo Argument 6: The United States considered Dokdo to be Japanese territory during the negotiation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951.[Teacher Notes]


Issued in January 1946, this document defined the scope of the Japanese domain and expressly excluded Ulleungdo, Dokdo, and Jejudo from Japanese territory. The United States recognized Dokdo as Korean territory in the initial draft of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which was completed around November 1949. However, by December 1949, through the lobbying efforts of the American political adviser William J. Sebald, Dokdo was not explicitly named in the territories that Japan had to forfeit. However, countless other major Korean islands were not explicitly listed, either. Thus, the claim that Dokdo is Japanese territory because of this oversight is not logical.
”The Map of Japanese Territory”
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Officially signed in 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty succeeded to the Cairo Declaration (1943) and the Potsdam Declaration (1945), which had declared that Japan must renounce its territorial rights. Therefore, the claim to sovereignty over Dokdo was rightfully returned to Korea. In addition, Japan presented a territorial map entitled “The Map of Japanese Territory” in October 1951 to the House of Representatives?? to the Diet??. Dokdo was not labeled as Japanese territory in that document.

 
[note 120]
An ‘eochaeji’ is a preparation area for fishing and harvesting abalone.
Teacher Notes
The third argument is presented in an easy-to-understand manner as a comic that covers the circumstances in which the border crossing permit was issued.
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Answer
1. At the time, the shogunate did not allow Japanese people to enter another country’s territory without prior permission.
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Answer
2. Dokdo and Ulleungdo were Korean territory. Therefore, the fishermen needed a permit to fish there.
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Answer
3. It is clear that Dokdo and Ulleungdo are Korean territory. Thus, Japanese fishing operations near this area were illegal and proof of trespassing.
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Answer
4. According to records in Records on Observations on Oki, Japan had recognized Ulleungdo and Dokdo to be Korean territory.
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Teacher Notes
In the fourth argument, Japan states, “The border crossing permit did not explicitly name Dokdo. Therefore, crossing the border to Ulleungdo was prohibited, but Japanese were not forbidden to go to Dokdo.” Two Japanese families obtained permission to fish near Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Documents from these two families indicate that Dokdo was considered a part of Ulleungdo.
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[note 120] ’eochaeji.’
An ‘eochaeji’ is a preparation area for fishing and harvesting abalone.
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Teacher Notes
In the fifth argument, Japan initially claimed that the “Shimane Prefecture Notice No. 40” was a preemptive annexation of an uninhabited island. Recently, Japan has claimed it as a contradictory “reaffirmation of Dokdo’s Japanese sovereignty.” This is evidence of the Japanese government’s flip-flopping when a claim has failed to gain acceptance. The implication is that their original claim was false.
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Teacher Notes
The sixth argument states that Japan considered Dokdo to be Japanese territory as Dokdo was not explicitly named in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951. An investigation of the documents before and after the conclusion of this treaty proves that Dokdo was Korean territory. The principal evidence is the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Index No. 677 (SCAPIN). This important document is presented in its entirety on page 45.
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