Japan's greed, fabrication led to omission of Dokdo
By Yoon Sun-woo
Greed, fabrication, ambition and ambiguity. These are just a few of the terms that perfectly convey the main ideas behind the true sovereignty of Dokdo.
The fundamental cause of the territorial dispute can be attributed to the omission of Dokdo in the final version of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Both nations, Korea and Japan, stand firm in the battle, claiming territorial rights over the islands.
Despite the ambiguity of the 1951 peace treaty, Japan’s view of the Cairo Declaration, and the constant, unbending assertions made by the Japanese, critical historical evidence clearly elucidates Dokdo as part of the Korean nation.
The verifiable truth, which unquestionably portrays Japan’s greed, is in correlation with the historical background of the two nations in question. Thus, we must first recognize the history of the two nations before we understand the reasons for the exclusion of Dokdo in the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
Korea, including the Dokdo islets, was annexed by Japan a century ago for a period of 35 years. With this colonial occupation, which was derived from Japan’s greed for imperialism, Japan had indeed conquered the Dokdo islets for this period of time.
However, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Instructions (SCAPIN) No.677, in 1946, clearly explains that Dokdo was officially removed from Japan’s territory and returned to Korea.
The SCAPIN No.677 explicitly states that “The Imperial Japanese Government is directed to cease exercising, or attempting to exercise, governmental or administrative authority over any area outside of Japan”, and that “Japan is defined to include the four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku) and the approximately 1,000 smaller adjacent islands”.
To clarify what it implied, the SCAPIN No. 677 also specifically poses that Liancourt Rocks, another name for Dokdo given by the French, was excluded from being regarded as part of Japan’s territorial boundary. The clarity of this is so evident that the fact that Japan still remains adamant with its claim is puzzling. The reality of this is how Dokdo was officially returned to be a territory of Korea.
The Cairo Declaration of 1943 is another vital document which can be seen as evidence for Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo. The Cairo Declaration was a formal declaration, made by then U.S. president, Franklin Roosevelt, UK Prime minister, Winston Churchill and the Chinese generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
As a result of this conference, the Three Great Allies decided that Japan will be “expelled” from all “territories which she had taken by violence and greed.” Furthermore, the three great powers were “determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent.” This means that Japan would have to return the Liancourt Rocks which had previously belonged to Korea.
In contrast, Japan has been strongly asserting that Dokdo has long been a part of Japan. They believe that Dokdo has always been a Japanese territory, and therefore does not fall under the category of territories that have been “taken by violence and greed.” Thus, if this groundless claim was to be globally accepted, then the Cairo Declaration will have no affect on Korea’s possession of Dokdo.
Dokdo is well known for its plentiful supply of natural gas. Also, because Dokdo is located further away in the East Sea, it is rich in marine resources and will also increase the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to the benefited holder.
In putting forth these views, it is easy to perceive why Japan remains so desirous of these islands, even today. As Japan’s awareness of these facts ascended, its ambitions continued to grow. With such desires, Japan’s greed and ambition led them to persuade the United States to invent fabrication.
The Japanese government tried to convince the Americans to acknowledge Dokdo as Japan’s territory. The Japanese induced the Americans by expressing their willingness to share the island for U.S. forces’ military operations.
With such an enticing proposal, the Americans agreed to recognize Dokdo as an Island of Japan’s possession.
Despite the Americans’ acknowledgement, the other allied nations such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia remained hesitant and refuted such distortions.
After the commonwealth nations failed to come to an agreement, they decided to omit Dokdo in the final version of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
By the elucidation of Japan’s strong desire, and the United States’ agreement to construct a falsehood about the sovereignty over Dokdo, we can clearly, and facilely comprehend the true reasons as to why Dokdo was excluded in the final version of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
The islands were intentionally omitted by the allied nations as the U.S. was lured by the Japanese’s proposal to distort the truth. To this day, Dokdo remains as a subject of dispute by the two countries.
Without the support of the United States, the lack of decision in the San Francisco Peace Treaty has caused ambiguity in the sovereignty of the Solitary Island, though Korea still retains its right to claim Dokdo as their territory. The historical background and evidence all adds up to a single conclusion; Dokdo is part of Korea.
Language High School. He was born in Korea but moved to New Zealand with his family to study English when he was 9 years old. After eight years, he came back to Korea to study in his home country. He can be reached at email@example.com.