Japan claims that while drafting the San Francisco Peace Treaty the United States suggested that Dokdo is under the jurisdiction of Japan
While drafting the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the United States rejected the Republic of Korea’s request to include Dokdo as one of the areas Japan must renounce by sending a diplomatic letter called the “Rusk Note.” Consequently, Dokdo was not included as an area Japan should relinquish under the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which was signed in September, 1951.
Japan’s claims is not true because...
the San Francisco Peace Treaty succeeded the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration.
The General Headquarters of the Allied Powers had treated Dokdo as separate from Japan until the San Francisco Peace Treaty took into effect after World War II. The General Headquarters applied SCAPIN - 677 (January 29, 1946), which provides that Dokdo, along with Ulleungdo, belongs to the area that is excluded from Japan’s governmental or administrative authority. (See Material 12.)
※ SCAPIN - 677: Governmental and Administrative Separation of Certain Outlying Areas from Japan
“3. For the purpose of this directive, Japan is defined to include the four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku) and the approximately 1,000 smaller adjacent islands, … excluding (a) Utsuryo (Ulleung) Island, Liancourt Rocks [that is, Dokdo] ….”
The Allied Powers’ decision to exclude Dokdo from Japan’s territory was part of postwar measures to implement the results from the Cairo Declaration (1943) and the Potsdam Declaration (1945), which obligated Japan to renounce territories it had taken by “violence and greed.” Thus, Dokdo was rightly included as an area Japan should relinquish because it was Korea’s territory, which Japan usurped through violence and greed during the Russo-Japanese War.
These measures taken by the Allied Powers were succeeded in the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in September of 1951. Even though Dokdo was not explicitly mentioned in the treaty, it is only natural to see Dokdo as having been included in the Korean territory that Japan should relinquish. Even islands larger than Dokdo were not all referred to in the treaty, because it was impossible to mention all the islands of the Republic of Korea. Also the “Rusk Note,” upon which Japan bases its claim for sovereignty over Dokdo, has no legal effect in determining the holder of sovereignty over the island, as this note only reflected the opinion of the United States, not the opinion of the Allied Powers as a whole.
Dokdo was reclaimed as an island annexed to the Korean Peninsula as the Allied Powers won the war in August, 1945 and the Government of the Republic of Korea was established on August 15, 1948, in accordance with a United Nations resolution. The San Francisco Peace Treaty merely confirmed these facts.
- MATERIAL 12. SCAPIN - 677 (January 29, 1946) and Related Maps
Dokdo shown on a map relating to the SCAPIN - 677 document