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The Map Was a Transportation Map

Posted April. 10, 2005 23:16,   


The “Revised Complete Map of Japanese Lands and Roads” of 1779, which Japan used as the oldest and the most solid grounds for its claim on the territorial rights of Dokdo, was simply a transportation map, and thereby does not support Japan’s claim on the islets, according to a Korean scholar.

According to Choi Seo-myeon, the head of International Korea Research on April 10, the map also includes Busan and Gyeongnam province. Therefore, insisting on the territorial rights of the islets based upon the map is equivalent to insisting rights on Busan and Gyeongnam province as well, which makes Japan’s argument inconsistent.

Choi raised his argument in his special lecture before the “Committee on Asia’s new pillar,” a committee of the House of Representatives of Japan on April 7. The committee invited Choi to give a lecture.

The map, the first Japanese map in which latitude and longitude appear, covers “Matsushima” (Ullungdo’s Japanese name) and “Takeshima” (Dokdo’s Japanese name), but the locations of the islets are recorded regardless of the actual distances. Therefore, he argued, it is appropriate to regard the map as a transportation map.

Choi went on to say that much later, in 1892, “A Map of the Empire of Japan (Nihon taigoku chizu),” which was published by the biggest map publisher of Japan, indicates Ullungdo and Dokdo as Chosun dynasty territory, providing inarguable evidence that Dokdo is Korea’s territory.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com