Japanese Document Shows Dokdo Is Korean Territory

By Kim Rahn
Staff Reporter

A Japanese government document dating from 1951 shows that Japan excluded Dokdo from its territory apparently negating on Japan’s claim that it has long-recognized the islets as Japanese.

The Korea Maritime Institute said Saturday that it discovered a Japanese document that excluded the islets from Japan’s maritime territory when it rearranged property acquired during its colonization of nearby countries.

“Prime Ministerial Ordinance No. 24,” issued on June 6, 1951, stated that Japanese territory was Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and nearby islands and excluded Jeju Island, Ulleung Island and Dokdo.

Some old Japanese maps and books had previously omitted Dokdo from its territory, but it was the first time a government ordinance did, according to the institute.

“The ordinance shows that Japan did not have the authority to exercise property rights over Dokdo because it recognized that the islets did not belong to it meaning they belonged to Korea, known then as “Joseon,” Yoo Mi-rim, a senior researcher of the the Korea Maritime Institute’s Korea Dokdo Research Center, said.

Japan has claimed that it acknowledged Dokdo as its territory long ago, but the document shows that it did not, at least before the San Francisco Peace Treaty was concluded on Sept. 8, 1951, Yoo said.

The agreement, which took effect in April 1952, officially renounced Japan’s rights to Korea and other Asian regions it colonized after World War II. The treaty was the beginning of an over 50-years of dispute between Korea and Japan over Dokdo because the document did not explicitly state Dokdo’s legal status.

“According to the document, Japan recognized Korea’s sovereignty over Ulleung Island and Dokdo until just before the treaty was made. It is also significant that the Japanese government acknowledged so in its own ordinance,” Yoo said.

The ordinance was among several documents sent in July from the Japanese foreign ministry to Korean lawyer, Choi Bong-tae, who won a suit to demand that the ministry disclose the documents covering Korea-Japan talks. The section relating to ordinance No. 24 was removed from the documents when Choi received them, but the maritime institute later discovered it, Yoo said.

rahnita@koreatimes.co.kr

[The Korea Times] | Original News @ HERE
Date : 2009/01/04

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