1951 - Sep. 21 - Korean Government comprehended Takeshima/Dokdo was affirmed as a Japanese Territory in Peace Treaty

On Sep. 21st, 1951, South Korean Foreign Minister Pyun Yung-tai(卞栄泰) sent a letter to U.S. Ambassar Muccio. In his letter, he claimed that SCAPIN-677 is the cocnlusive factor to decide Takeshima/Dokdo is Korean territory. He also listed, as other factors, MacArthur line and U.S. apology to Korea for the victims of 1948 bombing incident.

Republic of Korea

Ministry of Foreign Affairs SEOUL

September 21, 1951

Dear Ambassador Muccio,

This note is to seek to draw your attention to the enclosed exerpt of Memorandum of SCAPIN-677, 29 January 1946, which should be regarded as a conslusive factor in deciding, in Korean favor, the controversy over the ownership of Dokdo, known as "Liancourt Rocks" and also as "Takeshima" in Japanese. The fact that the disputed isle has been put on the Korean side of the MacArthur Line is another manifestation of the SCAP memorandum under notice.

In 1948, if I do not remember wrongly, when air bombing practice caused casualities among the Korean fishermen in boats nestling near the isle SCAP apologized to this Goverment for the incident. Had SCAP regarded the isle as Japanese territory, the presence of the Koreans there would have been illegal and no apologies necessary. As evidenced by the Memorandum in question, SCAP has, at no time, doubted that the isle belongs or ought to belong, to Korea.

We have substantial documented evidence to prove that the isle has been in the Korean possession for many hundred years. The fact that Japan incorporated the isle into one of its nearby prefectures in 1905 (a deal sneaked on a prefectural level, not on a Governmental level, for the obvious convenience to back down more easily in case of a possible international trouble) cannot repudiate our rightful claims to the isle, supported not merely by Korean documents but by Japanese ones also.

                    Sincerely yours,

                    Yung Tai PYUN

                  Minister of Foreign Affairs

Enclosure: Memorandum of SCAPIN-677, 29 January 1946

His Excellency

Note that this was sent AFTER the Peace Treaty was signed (08/09/1951). In other word, it is apparent Korean government did understand that Peace Treaty concluded that Takeshima was left to Japan as its sovereign territory, or she wouldn't have sent such a letter to make U.S. pay attention to SCAPIN-677. In fact, Korean Ambassodor to U.S. was already told by Dean Rusk, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, that the Japanese claim to the Liancourt Rocks would not be renounced in the peace treaty on 10th Aug., 1951 and this official notification was reiterated to ROK government on 4th Dec., 1952.

Possible Methods of Resolving Liancourt Rocks Dispute between Japan and ROK (July 22, 1953)


With regard to the question of who has sovereignty over the Liancourt Rock (which are also known in Japanese as Takeshima, and in Korean as Dokdo), it may be of interest to recall that the United States position, contained in a note to the Republic of Korea's Ambassador date August 10, 1951 reads in part:

"....As regards the island of Dokdo, otherwise known as Takeshima or Liancourt Rocks, this normally uninhabited rock formation was according to our information never treated as part of Korea and, since about 1905, has been under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shimane Prefecture of Japan. The island does not appear ever before to have been claimed by Korea......"

(This position has never been formally communicated to the Japanese Government but might well come to light were this dispute ever submitted to mediation, conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement.)

Since sending the August 10, 1951 note to the ROK Government, the United States Government has sent only one additional communication on the subject. This was done in response to the ROK protest of the alleged bombing of Dokdo Island by a United States military plane. The United States note of December 4, 1952 states:

"The Embassy has taken note of the statement contained in the Ministry's Note that 'Dokdo Island (Liancourt Rocks) .....is a part of the territory of the Republic of Korea.' The United States Government's understanding of the territorial status of this island was stated in Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s note to the Korean Ambassador in Washington dated August 10,1951."

Pyun’s attempts urging U.S. to reconsider was laughed off, as it was documented in the following corresponding letter, which was accompanied by Pyun’s letter above, from Pusan to Washington. The Minister apparently failed to present alleged "substantial documented evidence to prove that the isle has been in the Korean possession for many hundred years”.

TRANSMITTAL OF LETTER FROM MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON KOREAN CLAIM TO DOKDO ISLAND (Oct. 3, 1951) (Records of the U.S Department of State relating to the Internal Affairs of Korea, 1950-54 Department of State Decimal File 795)


With regard to the " substantial documented evidence" referred to in the last paragraph of the letter, an officer of the Embassy was orally informed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that such evidence appears throughout Korean and Japanese archives. The implication was that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not possess a compilation of such "evidence" at this time. Although it was pointed out to the Minister that the Embassy would welcome the submission of such "evidence" for transmittal to the Department, it appears doubutful that such information will be forthcoming.

Today, Korean government claim that Takeshima was decided to be Korean territory by U.S.’s dropping its name from the article.

Later, Dokdo’s exclusion from Japan’s territory was reaffirmed by the Treaty of Peace with Japan, better known as the San Francisco Treaty, of September 8, 1951.

(Dokdo_Korean territory Basic Position of the Government of the Republic of Korea on Dokdo, 2010)

However, as Pyun’s letter shows, Korean government was well aware that Takeshima was left to Japan in San Francisco Peace Treaty. It is a shame ROK never stops distorting the fact and brainwashing her innocent nationals every day.

1951 1003 Transmittal of letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korean Claim to Dokdo Island_11951 0921 Transmittal of letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korean Claim to Dokdo Island


  1. matsuさんから、「この卞栄泰外務長官のアメリカあての手紙は、「日付」が注目すべきと思います。




  2. 「その島を数百年に渡り朝鮮が所有していたことを証明する重要な記録がある」と卞栄泰は言っていますが、詳細には触れていませんね。常識的に考えるならそれらの証拠となる文書を添付しているはずなのですが、その点どうなっていたのでしょう。口先だけで証拠の提示がなければまともに取り合ってもらえなかったのではないでしょうか。






  3. 私はOct. 3, 1951の文書を読んで当時駐韓米大使館は韓国側の竹島の歴史的領有主張に疑問を持っていたと解釈します。


    「호사카유지 교수는 "주한미대사관이 미 국무성 앞으로 보낸 비밀문서(‘리앙쿠르락스(독도)위의 한국인’)에서는 “독도는 한때 조선왕조의 일부였다. 그 사실을 우리는 몇 번이나 확인한 바 있다. 일본이 평화조약상 독도가 일본영토로 남았다고 하나, 그것은 그들의 추정일 뿐이다.’”(1952.10).」
    「保坂祐二教授は "在韓米大使館が米国務省に送った秘密文書('リアンクールロックス(独島)上の韓国人')では "独島はひととき朝鮮王朝の一部だった. その事実を私たちは何番(回)も確認した事がある. 日本が平和条約上独島が日本領土で残ったと一つ, それは彼らの推定であるだけだ.'" (1952.10) .」

    「러스크 서한은 비공개의 문서이고, 주한미대사관은 오히려 독도는 한국영토라고 알고 있었다.(1952.11.주한미대사관이 미 국무성에 보낸 편지), ‘러스크 서한’을 몰랐고‘ 다른 토대(독도는 한국영토)위에서 활동해 왔다’고 밝힌 주한미대사의 편지(1952.10),
    「ラスク書簡は非公開の文書で, 在韓米大使館はむしろ独島は韓国領土と分かっていた.(1952.11. 在韓米大使館が米国務省に送った手紙), 'ラスク書簡'が分からなかったし' 他の土台(独島は韓国領土)の上で活動して来た'と明らかにした在韓米大使の手紙(1952.10),

    ロブモ氏のサイトには大きな文字で「This document is a memo entitled "Koreans on Liancourt Rocks" from the US Embassy, Tokyo to the US State Department, dated October 3, 1952. 」と書かれています。


    ”the drafters of the treaty did not include these islands within the area to be renounced.”



    ”The Embassy is unaware if this is true.”

    "Use of Disputed Territory (Tokto Island) as Live Bombing Area".

    これはOct. 3, 1951の文書における”it appears doubutful that such information will be forthcoming. ”に対応した表現であって、すなわち1952年10月の時点でも駐韓米大使館は韓国の領有主張根拠に疑問を持っていたというこではないでしょうか。


    We were subsequently made aware of the fact that Article 2(a) was not to be amended but had no inkling that that decision constituted a rejection of the Korean claim. Well, now we know and we are very glad to have the information as we have been operating on the basis of wrong assumption for a long time.

    「条約が書き改められなかったことが韓国の要求の拒否を構成するとは考えなかった」とありますから、保坂先生の「他の土台」に相当する”the basis of wrong assumption”とは「韓国の要求どおりに条約が書き改められなかったからといって、必ずしも韓国の竹島は自国領であるという主張が拒否されたとはいえない」という推定であることが分かります。


    ”Although this Embassy is not in possession of complete information regarding the Department's views on the ownership of Tokto Island (...), it appears that its status is unsettled.”

    "Use of Disputed Territory (Tokto Island) as Live Bombing Area".

    すなわち「他の土台」とは保坂先生の主張する「独島は韓国領土」という意味ではなく、”its status is unsettled.”すなわち「竹島の地位は未決定」であるということが明らかです。

  4. I just finished writing about your post over at the Marmot's Hole, where they do not generally like to read comments about the Takeshima/Dokdo dispute.

    I will not debate it there and do not recommend that anyone here do either, but I just wanted to let the people there know about the documents.

    You can read what I wrote HERE

  5. Makotoさん


    所謂マッカーサーラインを規定したSCAPIN1033については、1947年の漢城日報 「近海侵寇의(の)日漁船」(1947年8月13日)が最初にマッカーサーラインの韓国側に竹島を載せ、論文としては、申奭鎬「独島所属について」『史海』第1号(1948年 12月)が最初であったと思われます。

    Thanks, Gerry

    This is probably the first time Korean based on SCAPIN 677 for their claim on Dokdo/Takeshima, though they misunderstood that Korean held sovereignty inside the line since 1947.

  6. I have changed the title from "1951 - Sep. 21 - Korean Ambassador comprehended ..." to "1951 - Sep. 21 - Korean Governmet comprehended ...".


  7. Anonymous28/5/11 10:14

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Anonymous28/5/11 10:23



  9. Anonymous28/5/11 16:58

    祝! Matsuさん復活(^o^)/

  10. Anonymous28/5/11 23:58



  11. Anonymous29/5/11 00:09


    Had SCAP regarded the isle as Japanese territory, the presence of the Koreans there would have been illegal and no apologies necessary.


  12. matsuさんおひさしぶりです。



    1966 - 2月 - 兪鎮午「韓日会談が開かれるまで」(上)『思想界』1966年2月号

    1974年 - 5月22日~24日 - 東亜日報「秘話 第一共和国 276-278 : 第十一話 李承晩と日本 4-6」








    ”于山と鬱陵を二つと見る場合に 于山をどの属島と推定するかはもともと荒唐無稽な仮想から出たものであって、すなわちどこであるとも定めることはできない。”










  13. matsuさん、韓国の竹島領有の主張は、梁裕燦駐米韓国大使が1951年7月19日に会談した際、対馬に替えて主張されたものと承知しています。


    竹島を韓国領だとした根拠はほとんどなかったのでしょうね。あればその資料を添付しているはずです。しかし実際には連合国最高司令官総司令部訓令第677号(SCAPIN 677)だけだったわけで、説得力のない話と思われてもいたしかたないのではないでしょうか。ちなみにジョン・フォスター・ダレスはニューヨークのサリヴァン・アンド・クロムウエル法律事務所で国際法の専門家として働いたことがあります。ですから占領軍の指令に過ぎないSCAPIN 677は領有根拠とならないことは十分承知していたことでしょう。



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