Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dokdo in the news again 독도는한국 땅이라 !

Dokdo is in the news again, following President Lee Myung Bak's recent visit to the rocky islets in the East Sea and Japan's response.  My last posts on this subject were back in 2008, the last time this issue flared up.   In two of them, one here and another here, I emphasized that the cyber diplomacy about Dokdo may be as important as the "real world diplomacy."
The Korean press this morning (for example the Joongang Ilbo) is covering the fact that old Japanese textbooks, all published before 1905, do not claim Japanese sovereignty over Dokdo. As the accompanying map, from a Japanese geography text published in 1887, clearly shows, Dokdo is part of Korea's territory. (Click to see a full size version of the graphic.  Dokdo is the easternmost of the two small islands to the east of the Korean peninsula) This makes historical sense, but the Japanese claim to Dokdo does not.  On a clear day, Dokdo is visible from the nearby Korean island of Ulleung-do, a larger and inhabited island that I recommend without hesitation to tourists visiting Korea.

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