Japan's island territories that the Republic of Korea has continued to occupy illegally by force since 1953
Japan's Consistent Position
Takeshima is indisputably an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based on international law.
The Republic of Korea has been occupying Takeshima with no basis in international law. Any measures the Republic of Korea takes regarding Takeshima based on such an illegal occupation have no legal justification.
Japan will continue to seek the settlement of the dispute over territorial sovereignty over Takeshima on the basis of international law in a calm and peaceful manner.
A government notification giving Takeshima Island's name and jurisdiction (Shimane Prefecture Notice No.40, February 22,1905 Provided by the Shimane Prefecture Public Records Center)
In the early 17th century, the Japanese government formally granted its people the right of passage to Utsuryo Island, and they used Takeshima as a ground on which to hunt and gather marine resources such as sea lions and abalone. Japan had established sovereignty over Takeshima by the mid-17th century.
The Cabinet added Takeshima to the State Land Register in 1905, established license system for sea lion hunting, and charged a fee for use of the state land. These exercises of sovereignty were carried out by the Government of Japan peacefully and without protest from other nations.
The Treaty of Peace with Japan, which established the international order post-World War II, lists territories that Japan must renounce, while intentionally excluding Takeshima, and affirms that Takeshima is Japanese territory.
In July 1953, a Japanese patrol ship, attempting to control the seas adjacent to Takeshima, was shot at from the Republic of Korea side. Shortly after, the Republic of Korea stationed marine police personnel on Takeshima and has continued to occupy the islands illegally up to the present day.
Republic of Korea's assertions and Japan's refutations
Republic of Korea's assertion (1) The republic of Korea asserts that the name "Usan(do)" appearing in ancient Korean documents and maps corresponds with Dokdo (present-day Takeshima) and that Takeshima has historically been part of its territory. ↓ Japan's refutation (1) The Korean "Usan(do)" is either another name for Ulleungdo or a small island adjacent to Ulleungdo (Jukdo) and is not present-day Takeshima. Furthermore, no basis has been found in ancient Korean documents and maps for Korea's claim that Usando corresponds with present-day Takeshima.
Republic of Korea's assertion (2) The Republic of Korea asserts that the Korean Imperial Edict 41 in 1900 placed "all of Ulleungdo as well as Jukdo and Seokdo" under the jurisdiction of Uldo-gun (Uldo county), and that "Seokdo" in this reference corresponds to "Dokdo." ↓ Japan's refutation (2) Even if for argument's sake "Seokdo" corresponds to "Dokdo," the Korean Empire after issuing the edict did not exercise effective control of present-day Takeshima, and hence territorial rights over Takeshima by Korea were not established.
Republic of Korea's assertion (3) The Republic of Korea claims that Takeshima was separated from Japanese territory by Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Instruction Note (SCAPIN) 677 and SCAPIN 1033. ↓ Japan's refutation (3) Paragraph 6 in SCAPIN 677 and Paragraph 5 in SCAPIN 1033 explicitly state: "The present authorization is not an expression of allied policy relative to ultimate determination of national jurisdiction, international boundaries or fishing rights in the area concerned or in any other area."
Workers engaging in the fishery near by Takeshima(a 1934 photo from the Osaka Asahi Shimbun newspaper)