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There`s no ground for Japanese Claim to Dokdo anymore

Posted February. 27, 2005 22:55,   


Amid the furor instigated by Japanese Ambassador Toshiyuki Takano’s absurd remarks, which staked claim to Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, called “Takeshima,’’ in Japanese, maps from the British government and Japanese geographers have been discovered that mark Dokdo as Korean territory.

On Sunday, Mokpo National University professor Jung Byung-joon (40) of the Department of History and Culture revealed a map (width 82cm, length 69cm) from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that acknowledges the Dokdo islets as Korean territory with a dividing line between Dokdo and Japan.

The U.K. government sent this map along with a draft treaty to the U.S. government before the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in September of 1951, when the Allies and Japan met to finalize the postwar settlement of WWII.

The British foreign ministry published this map in March of 1951 and sent it to U.S., but the map was not included in the official treaty.

The Mainichi Shimbun of Japan reported that there was a map of Japan published in 1952 that indicates Dokdo as Korean territory based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

Meanwhile, Professor Kim Moon-gil of the Department of Japanese of the Pusan University of Foreign Studies disclosed to the public on Sunday an original map of the Korean peninsula produced by a leading Japanese geographer Shihei Hayashi in 1785.

On this map, the Korean peninsula is colored in yellow, and Ulleungdo and Dokdo, located 39 degrees north latitude, are marked as one big island (Usanguk) while the sea to the right is indicated not as the Sea of Japan but as the East Sea.

Professor Kim said, “The fact that Ullungdo and Usando (Dokdo) are marked as one big island proves that the Japanese people at that time acknowledged Ullungdo and Dokdo as Korean territory.” Professor Kim purchased this map in a vintage bookstore when he visited Japan last year.

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com silent@donga.com