News Flash - PM Fukuda notified President Lee of describing Takeshima

PM Fukuda had already notified President Lee Japanese government decided to describe Takeshima in the manual for the teachers' guideline
Sankei(産経新聞) cache 2008.7.13 01:53

On 12th, it is revealed that Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo of Japan had already told the government's policy of describing Takeshima clearly in the guidebook for teachers's guide book for manual of new junior high school social studies as "Territory of Japan", to President Lee Myung-bak during the Japan-South Korea presidential talk held at the summit in the Hokkaido Toyako on the ninth. Political sources clarified it. A expression is considered to be still under moderation.

After the conference with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura Nobutaka yesterday, Tokai Kisaburo(渡海紀三朗文部科学相), minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, told the press that it is still under the process of decision(調整中) wether describing it clearly or not .

Political sources emphasize the resolution for oppsing description, the South Korea Diet adopted, made Japanese government could not avoid describing it clearly (in order to claim sovereignty either).


  1. Kaneganese,

    Thanks for the information. As far as the dispute continues, Japan should teach students the history of Takeshima and Syngmann Rhee line, just like Korea teaches her pupils "Dokdo is ours".

    BTW, Doyako should be Toyako (or Tohyako), I think.

  2. Thanks, pacifist

    I think it is very good to teach it clearly to juior high school students, too, even though all the geography books clearly depict Takeshima as Japanese territory. This is going to be a good footstep for building a healthy bilateral relationship between two country.

    Anyway, I'm surprised to see PM Fukuda's response to President Lee. Good surprise, of course. Besides, President Lee's action is apparently a good sign for Japan. Korea made it a international issue.

    I corrected Toyako, thank you.

  3. Yesterday's article from Yomiuri Shimbun cache

    Teaching handbook set to mention Takeshima

    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The government has begun discussions over how to refer to the disputed Takeshima islets in a handbook on the new curriculum guidelines for middle school social studies, but is expected to stop short of referring to them explicitly as part of "the nation's territory," The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Saturday.

    Once a final decision over the description has been reached, the Education, Science and Technology Ministry plans to present the handbook to prefectural boards of education officials at a meeting to be held in Tokyo on Monday to explain the handbook.

    The ministry initially planned to describe the islets as "inherent territory of Japan" in the new manual.

    But after a strong response from South Korea, some within the government argued Japan should give greater consideration to maintaining good bilateral relations.

    The government has been consulting with relevant departments over a plan to mention in the new teaching manual the islets as an example of the country's ongoing territorial disputes, which along with the four islands off eastern Hokkaido, known as the northern territories, are required to be studied.

    On the northern territories, the ministry plans to say, "The Habomai islets and the Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu islands are the inherent territory of Japan and illegally occupied by Russia."

    In the case of the Takeshima islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea, the ministry has discussed a proposal to mention in the manual that Seoul claims sovereignty over them.

    New editions of handbooks on the curriculum guidelines are drawn up for each subject at primary, middle and high schools when the guidelines are revised, about every 10 years.

    As the manuals give detailed explanations about the content of the guidelines, they are also used for publishers producing textbooks.

    Currently, only four of the 14 publishers mention the Takeshima islets in their textbooks for social studies classes at middle school.

    However, the introduction of the description about the islets in the new handbook is expected to prompt more publishers to mention them.
    (Jul. 13, 2008)

  4. Anonymous14/7/08 16:56

    Ya right~
    Japanese took our Tsushima Island and want to take some more is it?
    Things you guys talking now tells us that Tsushima is belong to us

  5. Anonymous14/7/08 17:17


    Watch those monkeys, michingae.


  6. anonymous,

    As long as two countries claim the ownership of the same islets, each can teach their students that the islets belong to their country. It is basically the matter of domestic administration, which other countries can't do anything.

    So Japanese government has never ever claimed Korean textbooks or Chinese textbooks.

    But Korean government always claims other countries's domestic things, especially Japan's domestic matter - some scholars say that Korean people may have the feeling of the same country as Japan deep in their heart, which may have been input in the annexation days....
    What do you think?

  7. News says that Korea would recall the ambassador to Japan. Then why Japan don't the same while Korean textbooks clearly mention "Dokdo is Korean territory"? Japan won't do the same because such deed is too childish.

    Korea should be grown up.

  8. Anonymous14/7/08 22:07

    This is not about Dokdo-Takeshima, it's about beef. President Lee needs to look tough and patriotic after taking such a beating over mad cows.

  9. anonymous,

    This is about the Takeshima/Dokdo issue:
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Jul 14, 7:34 AM EDT

    South Korea says it will recall ambassador from Japan in rekindled island territorial dispute

    Associated Press Writer

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea said Monday it will recall its ambassador from Japan over a rekindled debate about disputed islands between the countries, as the new Seoul government seeks to lift its sagging popularity at home with an appeal to nationalism.

    Japan announced its intention Monday to recommend in a government teaching manual that students learn about Tokyo's claims to the nearly uninhabitable islets, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese, that are currently under South Korean control. The dispute has been a long-standing thorn in relations between the Asian neighbors.

    "Many people here are of the opinion that we should fully teach the facts about Takeshima and deepen understanding of Japan's land and territory," Japan's chief Cabinet secretary, Nobutaka Machimura, told reporters in Tokyo, adding that Seoul was informed of its plan.

    "Both countries have our positions. But I believe it is necessary that we overcome our differences and deepen our mutual understanding," Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told reporters.

    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak expressed "his deep disappointment and regret" over the renewed claim, according to spokesman Lee Dong-kwan.

    The ministry also said it planned to bring home its ambassador from Tokyo for an unspecified amount of time after he launches a strong protest with Japan's Foreign Ministry. Japan's ambassador to Seoul was summoned later Monday by the South's ministry to receive a formal complaint.

    After taking office in February, the conservative President Lee - who was born in Japan during Tokyo's colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula - had sought to restore strained ties between the two countries. In April, he held the first full-fledged summit between South Korea and Japan in three years.

    But Lee has seen his popularity plummet and faced weeks of anti-government protests sparked by health concerns over restored imports of U.S. beef, forcing him to negotiate changes to a deal with Washington.

    His image took another hit when he reversed his hard-line stance on North Korea last week and called for revived reconciliation talks. Pyongyang spurned the offer and has refused to cooperate with the investigation of a South Korean tourist shot by North Korean soldiers at a mountain resort there.

    South Korea's strong response to Japan in the land dispute was an attempt to show decisiveness after the repeated setbacks for Lee, who had been nicknamed "The Bulldozer" as a construction company CEO for his ability to push through tough projects.

    In the past, South Korean leaders have played on anti-Japanese sentiment to appeal to Korean nationalism as a way to boost their standing. Many Koreans harbor resentment against Japan for its 1910-45 colonial rule.

    Hong Joon-pyo, an official in Lee's ruling Grand National Party, told Parliament he would rally the country to block what he called "the Japanese ambition for territorial aggression."

    Ruling and opposition party lawmakers also took helicopter trips to the islets Monday afternoon in a symbolic gesture. South Korea's Coast Guard said has increased the number of patrol boats and helicopters operating around the islets.

    The National Police Agency also instructed the 42 police stationed there to be on a high alert. Three fisherman also live on the islets.


    Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim contributed to this report.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  10. Anonymous15/7/08 01:06

    I'm Korea so actually i have no idea about the history of JAPAN and how they are thinking about Dokdo.
    Let me ask you guys one question.
    Did you guys ruled Dokdo before?

  11. Japanese did sailed to Takeshima and hunting sealions since mid 17th century under the permission of Shogunate. After the confusion during the early Meiji Restoration, Japan officially incorporated Takeshima into Shimane prefecture in 1905. And Nobody even Korean government doesn't argue this facts. There are no single evidence that Korean had any effective control over Takeshima until 1953, the year Korea robbed the island and slaughtered Japanese fishermen. See all the documents which tells Japanese sovereignty over Takeshima.

    In the light of historical facts and based upon international law, it is apparent that Takeshima is an inherent part of the territory of Japan.

    On the other hand, there is no single documents which proves Korean had any control over the island which is 92km far from Ulleungdo, which had been prohibited to sail for almost 400 years. It is possible that Korean knew vaguely the existance of islets, as 1694 張漢相 report suggests, but it was after 1900 when Japanese started to go hunting again and Korean who were hired by those Japanese did had a chance to recognize the island. That's why Korean named the island "独島", meaning "Sole, or Lonly island". It was a shame that Korean confused Japanese Takeshima, which was called Matsushima in Edo era with Usando, which is actually a Jukdo. 崔南善 did made up a story about Usando, Sambongdo and Gajido are Takeshima after independence, which Korean still forced to believe.

  12. jjokbbail,

    Thanks for your posting. Japan used Takeshima/Dokdo in the 17th century when they thought Ulleungdo was Japan's territory but after the first dispute between Japan and Korea the shogunate of Japan decided to give up Ullengdo (but not Takeshima/Dokdo).

    After a while Takeshima/Dokdo was untouched and half-forgotten, except fishermen from Oki islands used every once in a while. And in the 18th century when western ships came in, and maps they made mistakenly drawn Ulleungdo as two different islands - Argonaut and Dagelet islands. So Japanese people thought Argonaut was old Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Dagelet was old Matsushima (Takeshima/Dokdo) at that time, but after a while, western countries "discovered" Liancourt rocks or Hornet rocks in the 19th century, which were true Takeshima/Dokdo today.

    In these process, Japan went into confusion of the island names. They searched for the islands and found the truth about the island names in the late 19th century. But after the confusion, they had to re-confirm the ownership of Takeshima/Dokdo, as it was left untouched. So they incorporated it officially in 1905.

    This is the history.
    But as you know, it was occupied by Rhee Syngmann's government in 1953.

  13. Anonymous17/7/08 08:42

    Don't you think Japan has more important things to teach Japanese children, such as, how Japanese military savaged the land of Korea and raped hundreds and hundreds of young Korean women to death during WWII, not to mention all the ferocious, inhumane, miserable things that the unit 731 committed to thousands of innocent people in Korea? Japanese people need to learn how to be sincerely sorry for their acts before they dare claim that dokdo is their territory. Look up some photos and educated yourself if you teachers never taught you all this in school (http://www.k731.com/present.htm). I dare you say dokdo's Japanese territory after learning the real history of the shameful country of yours.

  14. Chris,

    Please refrain from talking different topics, this is a blog to talk about the Takeshima/Dokdo issue.

    However, I would like to add one thing if you didn't know about education in Japan. After the WWII, Japanese education system was handled by GHQ (mainly USA) and "Nikkyoso" - a kind of left wing teachers' union. They educated pupils with the "self-tortured view of history (自虐史観)" just like Korea's view, all of what Japan did was wrong.
    But nowadays they became to notice that this kind of education was wrong.

    Anyway, let's talk about the Takeshima/Dokdo issue.


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