Japan claims the designation of Dokdo as a bombing range for military practice for the United States Forces in Japan shows that Dokdo was treated as part of Japan’s territory
In July 1952, the Japan-United States Joint Committee established for the purpose of implementing the Japan-United States Administrative Agreement, designated Dokdo as a bombing range for the United States Forces stationed in Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan notified this in its gazette.
Japan’s claims is not true because...
the United States Air Force immediately excluded Dokdo from its bombing range upon the Korean government’s protest.
Dokdo was an important fishing ground for Korean fishermen. However, Japan led the United States Forces to designate the island as a bombing range, although such a decision was very likely to inflict significant losses to Korean fishermen working near the island. (See Material 13.) This is also shown in the meeting minutes from the National Diet of Japan.
※ The following are words exchanged between Yamamoto Toshinaga, a Diet member from Shimane Prefecture, and Ishihara Kanichiro, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a Foreign Affairs committee meeting held on May 23, 1952.
Yamamoto: “As for the designation of the military practice area for the Occupation Forces, I think that if the vicinity of Dokdo is designated as a practice area, it would help Japan get confirmation of its territorial sovereignty over the island. Please tell me if that is what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends.”
Ishihara: “It seems that things are sought after in various ways largely from such an idea.”
However, in November, 1952, as the Korean government protested the United States Air Force’s bombing drills over Dokdo, the United States Air Force immediately excluded the island from its bombing range. And the United States Embassy in the Republic of Korea sent an official notification of the decision to the Korean government.
- MATERIAL 13. The unveiling of the memorial monument for the Dokdo bombing victims (June 8, 1950)
A number of Korean fishermen lost their lives from the United States Forces’ bombing over Dokdo in June of 1948. The Headquarters of the United States Far East Air Force described the bombing as an “accidental incident,” and announced that it will suspend its bombing practice over the island. In June of 1950, the unveiling of the memorial monument for the victims was held with the Governor of North Gyeongsang-do in attendance.