Japanese Ordinance Excludes Dokdo from Territory

      January 05, 2009 11:54

      A nearly 60-year-old Japanese government document has been discovered that does not include the Korean islands of Dokdo, Ulleung and Jeju as Japanese territory. The Korea Maritime Institute announced the discovery of "Prime Ministerial Ordinance No. 24," dating back to June of 1951 and designed to clear out Japan's colonial assets after World War II.

      The institute found it did not consider Dokdo, which lies between Korea and Japan, Japanese dominion. The document appears to contradict Japan's claims to Dokdo in 1951, when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty officially surrendering its colonial control over Korea.

      The institute says this discovery is crucial, especially since it was not among many documents given to a Korean lawyer by Tokyo's Foreign Ministry for last July's Korea-Japan diplomatic talks. The issue of rightful control over Dokdo has been one of the most heated disputes between Korea and Japan for decades.

      Last month, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported Japan's Foreign Ministry will be publishing pamphlets asserting Japan's sovereignty over Dokdo in 10 different languages to be distributed overseas.

      The maritime institute says the new facts will be a strong counter to Japan's assertion.

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