Geographical and Historical Evidence for South Korea's Dokdo

Authors: Jino Kwak*, Northeast Asian History Foundation, Joseph Stoltman*, Western Michigan University
Topics: Political Geography, Asia, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Dokdo, territorial issues, South Korea, Japan
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8216, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Dokdo is a small island of volcanic origin in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago. The recognition of Dokdo as the political territory of South Korea has been an issue between the South Korean and Japanese governments for decades. The issue has become a major disagreement between the two countries, especially since island territorial claims in East Asia have taken on great importance in the region. There are ten basic sets of evidence to support the South Korean claims to the island that are not widely known. The focus of this session is to present each of the documented sets of evidence that refutes Japan's claims to Dokdo. The refutation is based on evidence from historical documents and maps, as well as post-1945 foreign policy decisions that affected the region. The evidence will be discussed relative to changing contexts that affect the evaluation and contexts of territorial claims. The session is intended to promote discussions regarding territorial claims and the possible means to resolve issues, thus reducing geopolitical tensions that emanate from the issues.

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