The Korean-Japanese territorial dispute over Dokdo/Takeshima
Na, Sang Hyung
Olsen, Edward A.
Miller, Alice Lyman
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This thesis explores the Korean-Japanese territorial dispute over the sovereignty of Dokdo/Takeshima. The Japanese government has argued that Dokdo/Takeshima is inherently Japanese territory. But this thesis demonstrates the baselessness of this argument by exploring the two countries' views of Dokdo/Takeshima's status before and after the Russo-Japanese War and focuses in particular on Japan's incorporation of Dokdo/Takeshima in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War, an important episode in the contemporary dispute over the island's status. Before the Russo-Japanese War, both Korea and Japan recognized Dokdo/Takeshima as Korean territory. In the course of the war, Japan attempted to offset Russian threats to Japan's sea lanes by constructing observation posts along the Korean coastline. In doing so, Japanese officials incited a Japanese fisherman to petition to incorporate Dokdo/Takeshima into Japanese territory. In the end, Japan surreptitiously incorporated Dokdo/Takeshima into its territory and constructed an observation post on the island that was dismantled after the war. Nevertheless, Tokyo continued to recognize Dokdo/Takeshima as part of Korean territory even after its incorporation in 1905 and its formal annexation of Korea in 1910.
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