Dokdo Island, or Takeshima, has been a long standing territorial dispute between Korea and Japan. The division of Korea did not let this island slip off the priority list of the koreans, but instead puts two Korean governments laying territorial claim to the island. However, North Korea’s claim is weak in comparison to South Korea’s claim, because North Korea has taken limited action on this topic (Cummings). For the purposes of this paper, the focus of the Dokdo-Takeshima Island dispute will focus on the dispute between South Korea and Japan. The arousal of this issue to public awareness again is due to the Free-Trade Agreement talks occurring between Japan, South Korea and China (Kyodo). This Free-Trade Agreement would benefit the three nations, making them one of the world’s largest market (South). In order for this to occur the territorial despite of Dokdo-Takeshima needs to be settled.
The Dokdo-Takeshima territorial dispute officially began in 1952 with the San Francisco Peace Treaty (Profile). However the dispute is rooted deep with in history some argument going back to the sixth century (Dokdo). Some view the dispute of the island as the residue of grievance between South Korea and Japan from Japan colonization (Profile). The geographical location of the island is central to the dispute as it is close to both nations. The resources that the nation would gain from the island ties into the economical issues of the dispute. The waters surrounding the island supply the fishing industries of both nations and makes the issue an economic one. Those waters also offer military defense positions and makes the issue even more political. The culture of both the South Koreans and the Japanese make surrendering the island a symbol of shame. The territorial dispute of Dokdo-Takeshima is relevant today to the free trade agreement that could exist between Japan, China and South Korea; the best solution politically and economically is for Japan to surrender its claim and for South Korea to allow fishing rights to the Japanese fisheries. Historical and Cultural Relevance:
Korea claims Dokdo first appeared in Korean history in the sixth-century. A professor of Seoul National University, Shin Yong-ha asserted that Dokdo was in the Three Kingdoms period record when the tribal state of U-san was suppressed. This brought the Dokdo Island and Ul-reung Island into Korean territory and is shown in the document, “The History of Three Kingdoms” that is recognized as the oldest official record in Korean history (Dokdo). Japan refutes this assumption in stating that Takeshima was not part of the state of U-san, because there is a lack of direct notation to indicate Takeshima in this document. Japan also asserts that there is an omission of Takeshima in the antique Korean map “The Map of the Great Eastern State” (The Issue). Korea rebuttals with stating that the Japanese government drew their maps in January 1699 with Dokdo as Korean Territory. Reflecting an agreement evident in a diplomatic document the Japanese government gave the Korean government rechecking Dokdo as Korean territory in January of 1696 (Dokdo).
Japan then claims that in 1876, Korean and Japanese fisherman came across one another in the waters surrounding Takeshima. The result of the interaction brought the governments of Japan and Korea made a treaty called “The Japanese Fishermen Treatment Rules.” At that time, Japanese fisherman who lived in Shinema made their work in the waters of Takeshima and do to this day. In 1905, the Japanese Meiji government included Takeshima as to be defined as one of the satellite islands of Shinema (The Issue). At this time Korea did not have the right of diplomacy, because of the Treaty of Protectorate which was concluded by force of Japan (Dokdo). During World War II Japan had taken control of many territories that were stripped away in the surrender to the Allied Powers by the Cairo...