Japan claims that it banned passage to Ulleungdo in the late seventeenth century, but did not ban passage to Dokdo
In 1696, the Edo Shogunate, which believed that Ulleungdo belonged to Joseon, prohibited passage to Ulleungdo, but did not ban passage to Dokdo. This is because Japan perceived Dokdo as its own territory from that time.
Japan’s claims is not true because...
Dokdo, as an appendix to Ulleungdo, did not require any separate prohibition for passage to it.
The documents owned by the Oya Family, who used to sail to Ulleungdo, contain sentences, including “Matsushima [that is, Dokdo] in Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo]” (dated 1660) and “Matsushima [that is, Dokdo] in the vicinity of Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo]” (dated 1659). This shows that the Japanese regarded Dokdo as an appendix to Ulleungdo in the past as well.
As the Japanese government argues, Japan only used Dokdo as a stopover port while sailing to Ulleungdo and as a fishing ground, and Dokdo had never been a destination of Japanese boats. Thus, additional prohibition of the passage to Dokdo was not necessary when banning the passage to Ulleungdo.
Therefore, it is only natural to assume that the 1696 ban on the passage to Ulleungdo implicitly prohibited the passage to Dokdo as well.
- MATERIAL 7. An order banning passage to Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo] in 1696
An order banning passage to Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo] in 1696“Murakawa Ichibe and Oya Jinkichi, who are merchants of Yonago, have been sailing to and fishing at Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo] to date since they were permitted to do so when Matsudaira Santaro was governing Inshu and Hakushu. However, the passage to Takeshima [that is, Ulleungdo] is now prohibited.
Twenty-eighth day of the first month
[Sender:] Tsuchiya Sagami no kami, Toda Yamashiro no kami, Abe Bungo no kami, and Okubo Kaga no kami
[Recipient:] Matsudaira Hoki no kami”