[KS] Koreanstudies Digest, Vol 61, Issue 26

Timothy Savage yamanin at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 24 03:54:01 EDT 2008

Tokdo/Takeshima was not left out of the SF Peace Treaty inadvertantly, but quite deliberately. The US wrote several drafts that had it as part of Korea, and several that had it as part of Japan, and finally decided to leave it out altogether rather than wading into the hornet's nest. 
Tim Savage> > Dear David,> > Your message only supports and reinforces my suspicion and puzzle how unsympathetic the international opinion may be to Korea. That some of similar voices should come from those who are in Korean studies and should at least try to understand the Korean position puzzles me, though.> > It is fine that you or anyone else considers a particular message spam mail, ?nationalistic? or not. I usually just delete, and never answer, any spam mail I get, however irritating or preposterous it may be, and you should, too. And many LIST members, who may agree with you and Scott in this case do, wisely. It is probably why no one is responding to Scott?s two questions. > > I will say why I have not responded, against my own pledge not to get involved in this type of ?conversation,? because you seem to suggest that no response possibly means nodding approval to his provocative (to Koreans and I am sure, to many others) suggestions. Clearly what Scott says has the feel of a ?legal? argument. I am not a lawyer and am incapable of providing a good ?legal? response. However, I can still give my reaction to them as a lay person with hopefully good common sense:> > (1) The expression ?terra nullius? does not apply to Tokto. The islets? existence was long known and the place even had a name, however it was referred to. Just because Japanese declared it had been ?a land belonging to no one,? does not make it so. It is like someone coming to an unoccupied home, and claiming that it is theirs because it was left empty. Finally, it is noteworthy that because of various obvious self-contradictions, the Japanese Foreign Ministry?s website (http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/takeshima/position.html) no longer claims that Japanese incorporated Tokto as a ?terra nullius.? How would you contest the comments in the website (http://www.geocities.com/mlovmo/page4.html) that > > ?The Cairo Conference of 1943 stipulated that ?Japan will be expelled from all territories which she has taken by violence and greed [since the time of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95].? Considering Japan?s methods, there can be little doubt that Japan?s annexation of Dokdo in 1905 (along with all other Korean territories by 1910) falls within the definition of territories taken by greed, as defined by the Cairo Declaration.?? > > How do you prove that Tokto incorporation had nothing to do with colonization of Korea and the general expansion effort by Japan?> > (2) It is true that the islets were left out in the Treaty of San Francisco, most probably inadvertently because they were considered so insignificant at that time, but in the absence of the reason why they were, I do not see why it makes them ?legally? still belong to Japan. I understand that common sense and usual understanding always mean something legally even when things are not clearly written down, especially when it seems to have been the general understanding even by the Japanese that Tokto belonged to Korea.> > In my last posting I referred to a very specific and what I considered important website with a 1936 Map by the Japanese Army General Staff Office (http://www.geocities.com/mlovmo/page27.html), which > > ?places Dokdo and Ullungdo in the region of Korea. It is highly likely that SCAP GHQ used maps like these when they decided to exclude Dokdo from the Japanese territorial sphere. These maps are a reminder of the commonly accepted view of Dokdo?s sovereignty (in both Korea and Japan) prior to the late 1940s and early 1950s.? > > (3) One more comment about the claimed ?non-interference? and ?neutrality.? I also pointed out the opinion expressed in the geocities site on ?The United States' Involvement with Dokdo Island (Liancourt Rocks): A Timeline of the Occupation and Korean War Era (http://www.geocities.com/mlovmo/page9.html),? which includes the following comments: > > ?Looking back at the Occupation and Korean War period (1945-1954), the available evidence suggests that many of the key decisions related to Dokdo were made by the United States, and not Korea or Japan. As a result of the decisions made by the United States in 1951, a basic framework for Korea-Japan relations, including the Dokdo issue, was established. The Japanese government worked very hard in getting the U.S. government to recognize Dokdo as Japanese territory during the process leading up to the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. On the basis of this effort Japan began to publicly lay claim to Dokdo. American diplomats supported the Japanese position on Dokdo until the mid-1950s. However, upon realizing that the Dokdo issue was a potential tinderbox that was capable of disrupting Korea-Japan, Korea-U.S., and Japan-U.S. relations, Washington began to feign a neutral position on this issue.?> > So, how does this make the US so "neutral" and "fair"?> > Now, David, why don?t you also ask why these various specific points presented in the site (http://www.geocities.com/mlovmo/) that I threw to the LIST for discussion are not commented on by the LIST members? > > Cordially,> Young-Key> =========> >From David Scofield <D.Scofield at sheffield.ac.uk> > 
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