Top U.S. Lawmaker Backs Proper Korean Name for Dokdo

      December 08, 2014 10:49

      The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Saturday said Dokdo is "the proper name" for Korea's easternmost islets.

      Ed Royce

      Ed Royce told Korean journalists last Saturday that the Dokdo issue should be viewed from a historical standpoint, saying, "The proper name is Dokdo island."

      Japan maintains a flimsy colonial claim to the islets, which has led to some confusion on international maps, whose makers have tied themselves up in knots in search of a "neutral" position.

      The U.S. Board on Geographic Names changed the name of Dokdo to the old French name "Liancourt Rocks" in 2008 following lobbying efforts by Japan.

      Royce says he was briefed on the history of Japan's colonization of Korea by Young Kim, a former assistant who is now a member of the California State Assembly. "It's another one of those issues where we have to understand history and what abuses occurred because it is relevant to our understanding today," he said.

      "We should all just admit history as it occurred. The part of getting the future right is acknowledging what went wrong in the past," he added.

      He also singled out Japanese attempts to whitewash World War II atrocities. "And this issue with respect to the comfort women" -- Asian women pressed into sexual slavery for the Japanese army in World War II -- "the treatment of the comfort women and the acknowledgement of the human rights abuses that occurred there is one of those issues." 

      He added that the historical record is unambiguous and Japan's excuses are unworthy of a moment's consideration, he added.

      Royce also recalled that his father was taken to a German concentration camp during World War II and said Japan's denial of sex slavery is as bad as Holocaust denial.

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