The Ugly Truth Behind Japan’s Claim to Dokdo – Takeshima Island
“..What Japan’s MOFA doesn’t want you to know about Japan’s 1905 Annexation of Dokdo Island..!”
The Chilean cruiser Esmeralda was the first protected cruiser, a ship type named for the arched armoured deck that protected its most vital areas, including its propulsion plant and magazines. In 1894, Esmeralda was sold to Japan via Ecuador and renamed Izumi. The Izumi (和泉艦) was one of the first ships to make visual contact with the Russian fleet just before the decisive Battle of Tsushima..
Izumi’s Telegram Message Regarding Liancourt Rocks (リヤンコルド) (Dokdo)
In November of 1904 a short message was relayed by the Captain of the Izumi, Sayama Toyonari (長海軍大佐茶山豊也). After the Tsushima surveyed Liancourt Rocks for a telegraph station, it’s clear plans for a military watchtower on Dokdo were already in the works by the Japanese Navy.
Below is the Japanese text kindly provided by the Jacar National archives database. (Irrelevant text was omitted)
十一月二十四日午後二時二十二分局発十一月二十四日午〃時五十分本部着 発信者第二艦隊参謀長 受信者軍令次長官 電報訳 対馬リヤンコルド実地調査ノ結果容易ニ望楼ヲ設置シル見込ナシ委細書面 電報送逹紙 受信人居所氏名アブテク 発信人居所氏名 タエ 注意 他人ヘ宛タル電報ノ配逹ヲ受ケタルモノハ此由ヲ符箋シ直チニ此レヲ配達シタル電信局所ヘ返戻スベシ決シテ其受取本人ヘ直送シ又ハ手渡シスベカラズ 発局 報 タケシキヤイクシ局 第二二号 十一月二十四日 受付午時分 二／二十二字 着局 受信午時分 受信取扱者 指定 記事 （ホマ）リヤンフルド（ヤチフラチロヒノイリケニナヨヒカチイトホ
Translation of Japanese Text
“..November 24th, 2:22 pm, November 24th, arriving at Headquarters at 2:50 pm,
Sender: Chief of Staff, 2nd Fleet
Recipient: Deputy Commander-in-Chief…”
“…As a result of an on-site survey by Tsushima (Warship) at Liancourt, (リヤンコルド)(Dokdo), it is not expected that a watchtower can be easily installed…”
The Takeaway From This Brief Historical Record
This telegram, most probably, was sent by Chief of Staff 2nd Fleet(者第二艦隊参謀長), Tomasoburo Kato (加藤 友三郎) to Deputy Commander in Chief (者軍令次長官) Kamimura Hikonojo (上村 彦之丞), both very high ranking officers. Although short, this brief message shows how important Dokdo was to the Japanese Navy. Also, consider the telegram was sent almost two months before Japan annexed Dokdo. The island was then still referred to as “Liancourt”.
Top Left: 2nd Fleet Chief of Staff (者第二艦隊参謀長), Kato Tomosaburo (加藤 友三郎) Center: Deputy Commander in Chief (者軍令次長官), Kamimura Hikonojo (上村 彦之丞) Right: A 1907 Book of Japanese Ranks During the Russo Japanese War 1904~1905.
The Only Logical Conclusion From This Document
The above message was sent only four days after the Warship Tsushima’s Deputy Commander Yamanaka Shibakichi (山中少佐) surveyed Dokdo on November 20th, 1904. On January 5th 1905, the Captain of the Tsushima, Takehide Sento (仙頭武英) forwarded the survey of Dokdo to the Director of the Navy’s Hydrographic Department Kimotsuki Kaneyuki (肝付兼行). See Link Below
The Logbooks of the Japanese Imperial Navy Warship Tsushima
In conclusion, Japan’s ambitions for Dokdo came from the top down. The whole ‘incorporation process was driven by the Japanese military, most notably the navy. The above telegram supports the belief that the ‘incorporation’ of Dokdo was an intrinsic part of the military annexation of Korea itself.