More Maps Weaken Japan's Claim to Dokdo

      February 18, 2010 09:57

      Yet another couple of historic Japanese maps have been discovered that do not include Korea's Dokdo islets as part of Japanese territory. Yuji Hosaka, a Japanese professor at Sejong University, unveiled them at a press conference at the Northeast Asian History Foundation on Wednesday.

      Measuring 115 cm by 123 cm, one map was produced by the Japanese Army in 1877 and depicts the country's sovereign territory in detail, but does not contain Dokdo. In 1889, Japanese surveyors created the country's first-ever map on a 200,000:1 scale compiled from all of the maps that had been produced until that time, but even that makes no reference to Dokdo, Hosaka said.

      Park Jin-hyun, head of the foundations' Dokdo Research Institute said, "This shows Japan's claim that Dokdo was Japanese territory prior to 1905 is false." Japan declared Korea a protectorate that year.

      A map produced by the Japanese Army in 1877

      Hosaka also unveiled another map which shows that the name "Sea of Japan" for the body of water separating Japan from Korea was not in use until the late 19th century. The map was created in 1868 with the authorization of the Japanese government and details the country's terrains and its surrounding regions. The waters east of the Korean peninsula are identified as the "Sea of Chosun," while waters west of the coast of Japan are marked as "West Sea of Japan." Hosaka said, "This is an important piece of evidence supporting calls to use both 'East Sea' and 'Sea of Japan.'"

      The NAHF plans to display 40 historical maps, including those unveiled by Hosaka plus others in the possession of private collectors and museums in Korea and overseas, at the National Assembly Library between March 2 and 9. Among a dozen new maps to be unveiled is a royal French map dating back to 1750 that uses both "Sea of Korea" and "Sea of Japan" to identify the East Sea.

      Also to be featured is the John Senex map made in 1721 that calls the East Sea as the "Eastern Sea" because it lies east of the Eurasian continent, and a map dating back to 1744 based on Marco Polo's that uses the same name.

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