Takeshima

    

Refutation of Korean Media Claims Regarding Japanese Maps of Takeshima(Part1)

Japanese Maps from the 1905 Incorporation into Japanese Territory Until 1945

The South Korean media produce a steady flow of commentary claiming that the island Takeshima, known in Korean as Dokdo, has been shown to be historically Korean territory by some newly discovered maps or documents. In the first part of his two-part essay, the historical geographer Funasugi Rikinobu notes that the International Court of Justice is unlikely to view old maps as a solid basis for sovereignty. Through a detailed examination of the District Overview Map, produced by the Japanese authorities in 1936, he counters Korean claims that its maps show Takeshima to be Korean territory.

    

The “Critical Date” of the Takeshima Dispute

The territorial dispute over Takeshima began in 1952, when South Korean President Syngman Rhee asserted sovereignty over a sea area including the islands. Takeshima is Japanese territory historically and legally, and Japan has urged Korea to agree to International Court of Justice proceedings to resolve the issue, to no avail. Legal specialist Miyoshi Masahiro explores the case, defining 1952 as the “critical date” after which acts should not be taken into consideration in determining the legal status of Takeshima. South Korea must promptly recognize the need for a law-based resolution.

    

The Meaning of the Territorial Incorporation of Takeshima (1905)

In January 1905, the Japanese cabinet decided to incorporate Takeshima into its territory, referring to the “title by occupation.” Effective control of an island is a key to occupation. In this paper, legal specialist Tsukamoto Takashi shows various examples of effective control, conducted peacefully and continuously by Japan, and examines Korea’s claims to the island (Korean name Dokdo) based on historical records up to around the turn of the twentieth century.

    

The Late-Seventeenth-Century “Takeshima” Dispute, with Reference to the Dajokan Order of 1877

The territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea over Takeshima is complex, involving numerous issues that have unfolded over hundreds of years. Japanese and Korean fishermen clashed in the late seventeenth century over abalone fishing grounds around Ulleungdo. Korea points to the shogunal order banning Japanese fishers from this island—then called Takeshima in Japan—as evidence that Japan negated her claim to today’s Takeshima (Dokdo). This study, by legal specialist Tsukamoto Takashi, examines documentation of the incident to ascertain whether this is the case.

    

The Treaty of Peace with Japan and Takeshima’s Legal Status

When the Allied powers signed the peace treaty with Japan to bring World War II to its formal close, they spelled out the territories to be taken from the former imperial Japan. In this paper, the legal specialist Tsukamoto Takashi refers to numerous historical documents to explore how the islands of Takeshima were addressed in various revisions to the peace treaty and how they were excluded from the scope of the holdings to be renounced as part of Korea in the document’s final form.

    

International Symposium in Korea on the Takeshima Dispute

Sakamoto Shigeki, a professor of international law, attended a November 2011 symposium in Seoul marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Syngman Rhee Line, by which South Korea designated a broad stretch of the Sea of Japan, including Takeshima, as Korean territory. This was a blow to Japanese fishing operators, who were forcibly prevented from fishing these waters, and Japan protested the Rhee Line until its 1965 repeal. Takeshima remains under Korean occupation, though, and recent moves to position the Rhee Line as a precursor to today’s exclusive economic zone concept are troubling.

    

The Debate on Island Issues at International Conferences

A number of international scholarly gatherings in recent years have taken up such subjects as delimitation of maritime boundaries, ocean governance, and maritime jurisdictional disputes. Here Terasaki Naomichi Hiro, a legal specialist and senior fellow at the Ocean Policy Research Foundation, gives an overview of three conferences he attended, presenting information on ways in which participants referred to Japanese islands including Okinotorishima Island, Takeshima, and the Senkakus—at times even when those islands were not the topic of the gathering in question.