Takeshima/Dokdo. Creative Commons photo, Flckr user courtneybolton

Japan has repeated its position that Takeshima — Dokdo to Koreans — is a part of Japan.

South Korea voiced “deep regret” on Friday over Japan’s renewed claim to the Dokdo islets in the Sea of Japan.

The statement, issued by the South Korean foreign ministry, came in response to the Japanese claim in an annual defense white paper released by Japan’s Defense Ministry earlier in the day. (Link)

The dispute about Takeshima/Dokdo is not so much about a small set of islets as it is about the resources surrounding them–fishing grounds, minerals under the seabed, and so on. And giving national pride a cathartic outlet.

I have my doubts as to how much Japan is invested in Takeshima. (Certainly not as much as South Korean activists are.) It goes through the motions of saying that Takeshima is Japanese, but it doesn’t push. It is however useful for Japan to continue to contest South Korea’s claim: after all, other countries, notably China, themselves contest Japan’s claim that several tiny islands constitute an extension of its national territory. If South Korea can claim Dokdo is a legitimate extension of its territory, it makes it difficult for South Korea to then turn around and denounce Japan’s claims regarding similar islands.

For an excellent set of pictures related to Dokdo, check out Boston.com’s The Big Picture photo blog.

GD Star Rating

Related posts:

A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch