January 05, 2009 11:29
The government has obtained two Japanese documents that exclude Korea's Dokdo Islets from Japanese territorial space, a find Seoul believes will be of great help in putting Tokyo's constant claims to the islets to rest.
A Foreign Ministry official on Sunday said since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade obtained the two documents last year, it has been "carefully analyzing their significance and their possible effects on the bilateral dispute over Dokdo."
He added, "This is the first time it has been disclosed that Japan excluded Dokdo from its territorial space in accordance with its own laws. They are materials that are of great help to proving Dokdo is Korean territory."
The documents essentially show that Tokyo excluded Dokdo from Japanese territory a year before the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which ended the Allied occupation of Japan, in 1952.
The ministry will make the most of these documents, together with other data on Dokdo it has accumulated in case Japanese claims resurface again.
A government official said it remains to be seen whether these documents can serve as 100 percent decisive data because they were proclaimed when Japan was still under U.S. military control after the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Instruction Notes (SCAPIN) No. 677, an international document that shows Dokdo is Korean territory, was issued in January 1946.
He said more research is needed to see if the Japanese position is reflected in the documents.
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