Korea Times: "Teacher's Guidebook Alleges Japan to Claim Dokdo"

Here is a link to a Korean news article on Japan's decision to include her claims on Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima/Dokdo) in their teacher guidebooks.

Link to Korea Times Article

Here are the quotes from the article:
  • "The guidelines may exert considerable influence on textbook manufacturers, and highlighting the unilateral views of one side as if it represents the truth should not be condoned,'' said Cho Yoon-seon, the spokeswoman for the ruling Grand National Party.
  • "If such actions continue Japan must be held accountable for all negative developments in bilateral relations,'' said UDP spokeswoman Cha Young.
  • "By proclaiming that Seoul will not take issue on the textbook and Dokdo issue, the incumbent administration brought about the current situation,'' a DLP party spokesperson said.
I find the above comments pretty ridiculous. Did Koreans really expect Japan to give up her claim to Liancourt Rock simply because Korea's president visited Japan? Has Korea given up her claim on Dokdo and removed all references to it from Korean textbooks for the benefit of Korea-Japan relations? If not, how can Koreans expect the Japanese to give up their claim?

If Koreans really want to build a good relationship with Japan, then they have to learn to accept the reality that both Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks, instead of getting angry every time Japan mentions "Takeshima."


  1. "The guidelines may exert considerable influence on textbook manufacturers"
    True. It's going to normalize the textbook.

    " and highlighting the unilateral views of one side as if it represents the truth should not be condoned,''
    Not true.

    To clear the confusion, it is not" guideline(新学習指導要領)" but "handbook(解説書) for the guideline" which is going to include Takeshima.

    It was supposed to have been included in guideline itself, since then Education, Science and Technology Minister Nariaki Nakayama said at a session of the House of Councillors Committee on Education, Culture and Science in March 2005, "It should be precisely mentioned in the next curriculum guideline."" So it was already decided. Ministry only followed the minister's decision, which is their job.

    But, in March, "it did not include any expressions related to Dokdo, fearing turbulent consequences in Korea-Japan relations with President Lee Myung-bak’s planned visit to Tokyo in April. " in guideline. They ditched their responsibility to avoid conflicts between Korea.

    By the way, it was not LDP, the ruling party who urged Minister Nakayama that it should be included in guidelines in 2004, but opposing party, Democratic Party of Japan(Socialist, Centre-left & Social Liberalism), who is apparently not "right winger." Besides, when Takeshima was illegally occupied by Korea in 1952, the only political party who insisted to send any type of forces( which Japan officially lacked then) and get it back, was actually Japanese Communist Party. It is not true that "it is Japanese right wingers who are claiming Takeshima's sovereignty." Besides, almost one-third of Japanese so-called "right-wingers" are considered to be Zainichi Korean.

    Anyway, there are already some textbooks including famous 帝国書院, which include Takeshima in the text books, and all the geograpy books for junior high kids clearly depict Takeshima within Japanese territory on whole Japan map, though some Shimane and partial maps doesn't depict such tiny islets as Takeshima 140km away from Oki just like they didn't in Meiji era. But the point is, it definately prompt teachers teach about Takeshima in classroom. Since most social science teachers are pro-Korean, I don't think they are going to brainwash kids, but make them think and try to understand what is going on. Korean need to understand that every single person, even Japanese have ritht to say what they believe. I hope both governments are going to talk about the issue through diplomatic channel more.

    The below are reported just 30 minutes ago by NHK.

    "Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura (町村官房長官) had a press conference in the morning, and told that it is an consistant claim by Japanese government that Takeshima is a traditional Japanese territory, while he emphasized that there would not any change for the basic stance that Japan-South Korea, two countries would tackle with various problems by the intention in the future. And he contineud that it shouldn't be political issue."

    I was watching KBS new on Japanese BS at noon, but it wasn't reported as I expected. Is this because the program was shortened, or because Korean got wise not to fuss about and ignore?

  2. Anonymous19/5/08 22:47

    Kaneganese, Japanese maps consistently excluded Liancourt Rocks from Japan's territory throughout history. This was despite the fact they included outlying islands as far away as 1000 away such as the Bonin Islands, Ryukyus and Pescadores near Taiwan.



    Japan's slippery MOFA is slowly trying to grab Dokdo and always downplays these little acts of aggression but the Koreans are onto this game and won't give an inch. The Koreans are wise Kaneganese, the Dokdo news has been all over the T.V. and internet and they are plenty pissed off.


    Once again, Japan's MOFA screws up and sours Japan Korea relations before they can even get off of the ground....

    Kaneganese, I hope the Koreans and the Japanese do talk about the Dokdo Takeshima issue. This means drawing a fair boundary between Japan and Korea based on modern law not on colonial wartime annexations. Looking at a map of the East Sea (Sea of Japan) it's clear Dokdo would be best left in the hands of the Koreans.

  3. Steve,

    You wrote;
    "Japanese maps consistently excluded Liancourt Rocks from Japan's territory throughout history".

    But this is inaccurate. In the maps of Edo period it was included in Japan as Matsushima, but the maps in the late 19th century didn't include it - although it's natural because the Meiji government thought that it was an ownerless island (until the incorporation in 1905) as seen in Kimotsuki's remarks.

    As the government thought it was ownerless, they could incorporate it in 1905. It is quite fair and natural.

    On the other hand, it had never ever been included in any Korean maps. Why don't you mention the fact?

  4. Anonymous20/5/08 12:52

    Pacifist, your interpretation of Japanese Meiji Era maps is a self-serving lobbying attempt spoon-fed to you by Shimane Prefecture. The fact is Japanese map makers continued to draw Takeshima (Ulleungndo) and Matsushima (Dokdo) in more Westerly locations.

    You are trying to tell us that the Japanese added one fictitious island and deleted one they consistently included for 150 year is complete rubbish that can't be supported by any facts at all.

    Pacifist, Korean maps and Japanese maps draw Usando East of Ulleungdo. Usando can be confirmed as Dokdo on some documents both Korean and Japanese. Naturally the interpretation of these documents varies from Korea and Japan.

    As I've mentioned the historical disagreement on Dokdo can be argued forever. However, no modern laws of drawing marine territorial boundaries support Japan at all. Under the premise of non-encroachment every nation is entitled to some ocean. Dokdo island is only 90kms from Ulleungdo, a territory of Koreas since the 6th Century. Oki is almost double the distance away. Ulleungdo like Oki can generate an EEZ so an equistant line between the 2 would naturally put Dokdo Takeshima in Korea's land.

    Pacifist, what you and Japan are demanding is we redraw the boundary between Korea and Japan back to a time when the demographic, political and economic circumstances in the region weren't even remotely similar. You might as well try to resurrect Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia.

    In 1905 Ulleungdo, Dokdo's nearest island was swarmed by Japanese trespassers, squatters and smugglers who were stealing the resources of Ulleungdo. At this time the fishing industry was barely developed and mostly controlled by the Japanese.

    Now Korea and Ulleungdo are free. Korean fishing ports on Ulleungdo (Jeodong, Sadong, Dodong and Hyeonpo now need the waters extending to Dokdo much in the same way Japanese illegal fishermen did in 1905. Ulleungdo and Dokdo have always been inseperable no matter what the political circumstances that swirled around the islands.

    Stop living in the past Pacifist.

  5. Steve,

    "Pacifist, Korean maps and Japanese maps draw Usando East of Ulleungdo. Usando can be confirmed as Dokdo on some documents both Korean and Japanese".

    Are you still dreaming that Usando is Liancourt rocks?
    Steve, open your eyes.

  6. Anonymous20/5/08 22:42

    NO Pacifist, you open your eyes.

    Look at the calendar and check the year. Look at a map and check the geography of the Ulleungdo and Dokdo area. Look at the greed of your government Pacifist.

    Under the modern laws of drawing marine boundaries there is zero justification for Japan to extend her territory to Ulluegdo Island's doorstep. Period.

    Quit the smokescreen Usando squabble and try to deal with the Dokdo Takeshima in a logical manner.

  7. It's really good to see Korean media and government are reacting emotionally and prompt Japanese media to air the news about THEM. Or they wouldn't have reported about Takeshima often. I think Ministry simply did his job which they avoided in May for the sake of Korean president, but Yomiuri, who scooped the news did a excellent job this time.

    I'm really interested in what President Lee would do next. Is he wise enough to ignore this or going to do anti-Japan in order to boost his supprt rate just like other presidents? What about rejecting PM Fukuda's kind invitation to SUMMIT in Hokkaido in July ?

  8. Anonymous21/5/08 00:55

    Oh I get it Kaneganese.

    If the Koreans put up and shut up when the Japanese attack the territorial limits of their nation they are being "wise". And if they react they are being "childish"

    The Koreans reacted loudly because they don't want the Japanese to ever once get the impression they are not being watched.

    The Koreans are watching very closely. They see the maps with the boundary between Ulleungdo and Dokdo.


    It's no wonder Japan's neighbours don't trust Japan.


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