January 08, 2009 09:16
Japan has denied that recently uncovered documents it apparently sought to suppress exclude Dokdo from Japanese territory and therefore invalidate its claims to the Korean islets. Tokyo on Wednesday claimed the 1951 legislation only excludes Dokdo from areas under Japanese administration.
In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Akamatsu Takeshi said, "The two 1951 documents were revision of the relevant legislation of 1949 according to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Instruction Notes (SCAPIN) No. 677 of the allied forces. The sphere of administrative authority and territorial space do not always match." SCAPIN No. 677 proclaimed in 1946 indicates that the Dokdo Islets are excluded from the administrative sphere of Japan.
Korean experts have dismissed the distinction as splitting hairs. Shin Yong-ha, professor at the Ewha Academy for Advanced Studies of Ewha Womans University, said, "The reason why General Headquarters separated the Dokdo Islets from Japanese territory and specified it in SCAPIN No. 677 is because it judged after several months of investigation that the islets were part of Ulleung Island." SCAPIN No.677 used the term "the definition of Japan," not "the definition of Japanese administration," because it referred to the territory, Shin said. The two 1951 documents show that the Japanese government followed SCAPIN No. 677.
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