▲ ▶ Photo: Dokdo Foundation
The international conflict between South Korea and Japan about the territorial rights of Dok-do has been a long-standing international issue. Recently, South Korea found ancient Japanese maps that show Dok-do as South Korean territory.
Last year, the Dok-do Foundation studied about 1,000 pieces of old maps owned by various local institutions, including the Northeast Asian History Foundation, the National Assembly Library, the Dok-do Museum, and the Korea National Maritime Museum. As a result, the Dok-do Foundation found 200 pieces of old Japanese maps show that Dok-do, indeed, belongs to South Korean territory.
On February 19th, the Dok-do Foundation conducted a present-condition investigation about which foundations have maps related to Dok-do. The investigation was for conducting more research on Dok-do and promoting its publicity by constructing a database. Therefore, the findings of the Dok-do Foundation can be used as objective and important evidence that Dok-do is South Korea’s territory.
Japan has been continuously claiming that Dok-do was transferred to Japan in 1905 and named “Takeshima.” However, a number of maps that Japanese government had made are officially indicating Dok-do as Korean territory. For example, Shimane region map, which was made in 1951 by a firm producing Japanese maps, does not include Dok-do in its map. This proves that many Japanese maps do not recognize Dok-do as Japanese territory, and that Japan’s current arguments are illogical.
According to Sun-sik Shin, secretary general of the Dok-do Foundation, “These provide significant evidence, solving the territory problems between South Korea and Japan because it includes the real recognition of the people of that time.” He added, “By using these official maps, we will testify that Dok-do is Korean territory historically, geographically, and internationally.”