1. Dokdo Becomes an Aerial Bombing Range for the United States Air Force at the Urging of the Japanese Government
Dong-A Ilbo newspaper report on June 18, 1948, regarding United States Air Force bombing of DokdoCiting a Tokyo-originated United Press news agency story, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported that the incident involving a fishing boat destroyed by stray bombs was indeed due to an aerial bombing exercise by the United States Air Force.
The Japanese government contended that Dokdo became an aerial bombing range for the United States Air Force in 1952 under consultation with the Allied Occupation authorities, which it said, in effect, was acknowledgement of Dokdo as Japanese territory. In truth, however, Dokdo was brought under the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) based on the decision by the United Nations Forces in 1952. The United States Air Force immediately cancelled the decision to lift the island from the aerial bombing range at the protest of the Korean government. The Korean government was officially notified of the decision. Until now Dokdo has remained part of Korea’s Korea Air Defense Identification Zone, which is further proof that Dokdo is Korean territory.
Despite the fact that Korean fishermen working in waters off Dokdo in 1948 were injured by bombings on several occasions, the Japanese government did not cancel the designation as an American aerial bombing site. The repeated bombings of Dokdo by the United States Air Force were induced by the Japanese government, which is proven in remarks by a member of the Japanese Diet. Representative Yamamoto (Shimane Prefecture) confirmed in testimony on May 23, 1952, in the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee in questions to the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ishihara that the Japanese government had been actively involved in designating Dokdo as an aerial bombing range for the United States Air Force. The United States Air Force took Dokdo as a bombing range without full knowledge of the island’s background as the islet was intentionally offered by the Japanese government. The fact that the Japanese government provided the island as a bombing site knowing that it was frequented by Korean fishermen was no doubt a callous act that disregarded the value of human lives.