An ethnic Japanese Korean expert on Dokdo has said that the Japanese government has officially denied its sovereignty over Dokdo three times in the past.
"The top Japanese authorities made the denials back in 1695, 1870 and 1877, while the Korean government has never denied its sovereignty over Dokdo, which proves the islets in the East Sea are part of Korean territory in history,'' Professor Hosaka Yuji at Sejong University's College of Liberal Arts said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.
First, the reason Korea never denied its sovereignty over Dokdo was that it never claimed sovereignty over Dokdo. That statement is just plain silly.
Second, Japan did not deny its sovereignty over "Dokdo" during any of the dates mentioned. In 1695, only Ulleungdo was recognized as Korean territory.That can be proven by the fact that travel to Matsushima (Dokdo) was not banned until 1836, and the ban was not because Japan recognized it as Korean territory. In 1870, the Matsushima referred to then was a neighboring island of Ulleungdo, not Japan's Matsushima (Dokdo), which was proven by the fact that the Japanese said they had no record of Ulleungdo having a neighboring island named Matsushima. In 1877, Japan denied sovereignty over "Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and one other island." Nothing was said about Matsushima (Dokdo). Japan used the phrase "one other island" because they were unsure of where the island was. Later, they found out that the Matsushima that had been referred to in petitions had actually been Korea's Ulleungdo, not Japan's Matsushima (Dokdo). See the following links for an explanation of the confusion at the time:
- 1877 - Different Japanese Views on Matsushima
- 1878 - Watanabe Says Liancourt Rocks are Japanese
- Unfinished Translation of an 1878? Document
- 1880 - Japanese Warship "Amagi" (軍艦天城) Surveys Ulleungdo and finds "Takeshima" is Jukdo.
- 1881 - Kitazawa Masanari(北澤正誠), a official of MOFA concluded that "Takeshima" is Jukdo in "A Study of Takeshima (Takeshima Kosho 竹島考証) ".