Japanese Expansionism in Asia and Dokdo Island

How Meiji Japan Expanded Her Empire and Seized Dokdo Island in the Process
Written by Shojin Saito Researcher and President, The Asia Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.
Around the end of January 1905, the Japanese cabinet decided to incorporate Tokdo (Japanese Takeshima) into its territory .This came to the knowledge of the Korean government, at the end of March 1906. Four months prior to this, in November 1905, Japan made Korea its protectorate, barring the latter from taking any counteraction against the actions the former took. In August 1945, when Korea was freed from Japanese occupation, Japan was placed under U.S. occupation and abandoned Tokdo. But in September 1951, when its sovereignty was restored by the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty with the U.S. and the Allied Powers Japan began laying claim to Tokdo.

The annexation of Tokdo during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) should be examined in the vein of Japan’s pursuit of an expansionist policy and analysed in the overall process of the demarcation of territories by Korea (South and North), China, Russia, the Philippines and the U.S.

Japan’s post-war move to claim Tokdo as its territory is linked to its colonization of Ainu Moshiri and Okinawa and this move, along with its demand for the reversion of the northern islands, may be viewed as Japan’s return to its imperialist expansionist policy of the past.

A. Korea’s Ownership of Ulleungdo and Tokdo
According to the Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms and Koryosa (History of Koryo) of Korea, Ullungdo once formed a tribal state called Usan’guk, but was subjugated by Silla in the 6th century , came under the control of Koryo after the fall of Silla, and was finally destroyed by the Yojin (Jurchen) tribe early in the 11th century.

The Korean publications in the 15th century record the existence of Tokdo and the Korean government has included it in its territory since the 15th century .Historically and geographically, Ulleungdo and Tokdo are considered inseparable in Korea, and if Ulleungdo comes within the territory of Korea, so does Tokdo: One cannot be separated from the other. To recognize Ulleungdo as Korea’s possession and negate its ownership of Tokdo is like admitting Korea’s title to Chejudo but denying it to Marado, its adjoining island.

These Japanese historical maps of Northeast Asia depict Japanese expansionism in a cartoon-like fashion (click pictures for larger image)
B. Ulleungdo and Tokdo and Japanese Encroachment 1.

Invasion of Ulleungdo by Japanese Pirates

During the Koryo dynasty in 1379, Japanese pirates plundered Ulleungdo, and in 1403, the Choson dynasty enforced a “vacant island” policy and prohibited people from living on Ulleungdo. This continued until the latter part of the Choson dynasty, but the policy was not enforced strictly and people went to the island on and off. In 1407, the lord of Tsushima asked the Korean government to allow Japanese to settle down on Ulleungdo, but was refused.

In 1618, the Tokugawa Shogunate issued a permit, through Shimane province, to Otani Jinkichi and Murakami Ichihei of Yon- ago to make passage to Ullungdo. For 78 years thereafter, these two families trespassed on the island.

In 1667, Saito Hosen, a retainer of Izumo-han (Izumo province) inspected Onshu (Oki Island) on orders of his lord and compiled Onshu shicho goki (Records of Observations on Onshu) in 1667. In Vol. I of the book, Tokdo was referred to as “Matsushima” and Ullungdo “Takeshima.”

In 1693, An Yong-bok from Tongnae and other fishermen clashed with the Japanese on Ulleungdo. He and Pak O-dun were taken to Yonago as hostages. With this event as the turning point, the Shogunate recognized Korea’s ownership of Ullungdo and banned Japanese voyages to the island in 1696. But Japanese continued crossing to the island and poaching and secretly felling trees there.

2. Japanese Fishing off Ulleungdo and Tokdo
In February 1876, an unequal treaty was signed between Korea and Japan: it was the Treaty of Friendship, also known as the Treaty of Kanghwa, (link)which marked the encroachment of Japanese on Korea and their indulgence in fishing and logging on Ulleungdo. As the name of Ulleungdo (鬱陵島) -literally an island of luxuriant trees suggests, the island was densely forested at that time.

On March 29, 1877, the Japanese Council of State (Dajokan) published a document saying that Ulleungdo and Tokdo were not Japanese territories. This decision was transmitted to Shimane prefecture on April 9th of that year. In 1880, the Japanese warship Amagi conducted a survey of Ulleungdo, and in December 1882, the Korean government issued a decree to develop Ulleungdo.

In March 1883, the Japanese government confirmed the Korean ownership of Ulleungdo (Matsushima) and placed a ban on Japanese passage to the island and evacuated a total of 254 Japanese engaged in poaching and illegal logging from the island in October of that year.

To the right, in a Korean newspaper cartoon, ancient Korean and Japanese fishermen argue. “Takeshima belongs to Japan under International Law..” quotes the Japanese sailor. “Greedy Jap expansionist devouring territory !” replies the outraged Korean.

But Japanese intrusion onto the island continued. In August 1896, Foreign Minister Yi Wan-yong and Agriculture-Commerce-Industry Minister Cho pyong-jik, representing the Korean government, and a Russian civilian, Jules Bryner, signed in Seoul an agreement on lumbering and reforestation on Ulleungdo.

As a result, the Korean government expelled the Japanese from the island. In 1898, Pae Kye-ju, administrator of Ulleungdo, went over to Matsue in Japan to start a lawsuit there and was awarded 300 Japanese yen for illegal lumbering by Japanese on Ulleungdo, but the money was stolen from him by Japanese.

3. Japanese Incorporation of Tokdo
In the 1880’s, Japanese began to seize the farmland and fishing grounds in Korea and in this process Japan took Tokdo into its possession. In 1904, Japan set up a post office on Ulleungdo, and ferry service opened between the island and Hamada in Shimane prefecture in the same year.

Two months after a large-scale sea battle between the Japanese and Russian fleets fought on May 28, 1905, (link 1 2) the Japanese Navy built a watchtower on Tokdo.(link 1, 2, 3,) In addition on September 29, 1904, Nakai Yosaburo submitted an application for the incorporation of the Liancourt Rocks (Tokdo) into Japanese territory and for its lease to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, and Agriculture Commerce-Industry.

The Japanese cabinet decided on January 28, 1905, to incorporate Tokdo into its territory, to name it “Takeshima,” and to place the island under the control of Okinoshima in Shimane prefecture. Up to that time, Japanese had called Ulleungdo “Takeshima” or “Isonotakeshima,” and Tokdo “Matsushima,” and never called Tokdo “Takeshima.” In the midst of the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese government attempted to take possession of a Korean island while it was even unsure of its accurate appellation in the Japanese language.

To the left, one Korean actor portrays himself as Dokdo Island while another acts as an Imperial Japanese soldier from 1905. Koreans understand the inseparability of Japan’s 1905 annexation of Dokdo from Japanese expansionism during the colonial era. Hence, Japan’s demands to reclaim Dokdo as seen a modern an re-invasion of Korean territory.

Until 1905 when Japan seized Tokdo, the Japanese Foreign Ministry had never separated Tokdo from Ulleungdo as Korean territory. In other words, it had recognized the Korean ownership of both islands. Also, around the close of the 19th century, the Hydrographic Bureau of the Japanese Navy admitted Tokdo and UIleungdo as territory of Korea.

On February 22, 1905, Shimane prefecture published Public Notice No.40 wherein it announced that Takeshima (Tokdo) had come under its jurisdiction and entered the island in the land register. Korea became aware of this fact only at the end of March 1906, when a group of Shimane prefecture officials, during their inspection trip to Tokdo, visited Sim Hung-t’aek, chief of Ulleungdo county, and informed him of the incorporation of the island into Japanese territory .Sim immediately reported this fact to the central government. Four months before this, Korea was made Japan’s protectorate, and Ito Hirobumi was posted in Seoul as Resident- General in March 1906, and conducted diplomatic functions in lieu of the Korean government. It was in July of the same year that the governor of Shimane prefecture leased Tokdo to Takeshima Fishing and Hunting Co., Ltd., headed by Nakai Yozaburo.

As the incorporation of Tokdo was not published in the official gazette of the Japanese government, the fact was not widely and accurately known even among the Japanese people. In the Chosen Shin Shirishi (New Gazetteer of Korea) by Adachi Ritsuen published in Osaka in December 1910, “Takeshima” is shown as Korea’s island.

The demographic statistics of Ulleungdo by the end of 1910 were as follows: “The Japanese migrants total 224 households; the majority of them from Okinoshima, making the island a sort of dependency; in terms of the ratio between Japanese and Koreans, it ranks first in favor of the Japanese migrants in Korea.”

The map to the right, is a Japanese Naval survey map of Dokdo. It was drawn by Vice Commander Yamaka of the warship Tsushima. The island was surveyed for constructing military watchtowers months before Dokdo was annexed. (map is enhanced, click for detail)

According to the statistics by the Japanese Government-General in Korea, the Japanese on Ullungdo numbered 656 (186 households] and their original domiciles were Hiroshimaken, Yamaguchiken, Oitaken, and Hokkaido as of the end of 1922; the households reached 400 in 1917; a fisheries cooperative was organized in February 1914, and its membership stood at 245 Koreans and 130 Japanese at the end of 1922.

On April 24 1939, Tokdo was incorporated into Gokamura in Okinoshima. It was designated for naval use and placed under the control of Maizuru Naval Station. The Japanese government made Tokdo a national property under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.

Japanese Expansion in Four Directions
In September 1869, the year following the Meiji Restoration, Japan colonized a northern island that the Japanese had called Ezonoshima or “the island of Ezo (Ainu)” and named it Hokkaido. Japan settled the northern borders with Russia and sought to expand and demarcate its territory southward, eastward, and westward.

Having thus annexed the northern island of Hokkaido, a part of Ainu Moshiri, Japan went on to invade the Ryukyu Kingdom, Taiwan, Korea, China, Mongolia, Micronesia, and Southeast Asian countries. In the process of this aggression, Japan developed a nation-state, and while creating this nation-state, Japan expanded its colonies and its area of occupation. The loyal subjects of Japan invaded the areas and countries in Asia and the Pacific as soldiers, police, landlords, civil servants, farmer-and fisherman-migrants, tradesmen, and agents of aggressive business enterprises.

In Ainu Moshiri, i.e. Hokkaido, Sakhalin and the Kuriles, the Japanese became the overwhelming majority. This is true also of Micronesia. In these areas, the Japanese assimilated the indigenous peoples and forced the Japanese language upon them. The Japanese government endeavored to Japanize all the areas it colonized.

Up to 1946, all Japanese had been the loyal subjects of the emperor and the government had attempted to force this emperor system upon all of its colonies. The Japanese still maintain this tennosei or emperor system.

A. Pre- War Period

1. Japanese Expansion Northward

No treaty exists whereby Ainu Moshiri was incorporated into Japanese territory but Japan has, since 1869, continued to exercise its sovereignty over Hokkaido. On May 7, 1875, the Japanese government signed the Kuriles- Sakhalin Exchange Pact with the Russian government. Under the treaty, it was agreed that Russia would accept Japan’s colonization of Hokkaido as a fait accompli and that Japan would colonize all of the Kuriles from Habomai to Simushi, part of the Ainu Moshiri, in exchange for Russia’s colonization of all of Sakhalin, another part of the Ainu Moshori. Both governments completely ignored the aborigines in these areas and arbitrarily partitioned the Ainu Moshiri.

The Japanese imperialists turned the Ainu land into Japanese territory, robbed them of their trading rights, locked them up in Japan, forced them to use the Japanese language, all in an attempt to assimilate them. The Japanese “emigrants” who invaded the Ainu Moshiri destroyed the natural environment of the Ainu and ravaged their land to live and work on it. Many “Kotan” (villages) of the Ainu have become extinct.

Following the Russo-Japanese War, Japan added the southern half of Sakhalin, part of the Ainu Moshiri, to its territory , and the Japanese came en masse to the new land. In 1926 and 1927, the aborigines of southern Sakhalin were forcibly moved to a narrow strip of reservation called “Otasu no mori” or the wood of Otasu.

Japanese Expansionism Through Historical Maps
The maps below this text are historical maps of Japan drawn by western cartographers. The map on the left shows the territory of Japan around the year 1840 before Japan’s era of expansionism. The map on the right is again of Japan, from the year 1922. We can see how far Japanese territory has expanded in all directions, now including Taiwan, Korea, Southern Sakhalin, Hokkiado, Liandong Peninsula (Dalian) and Bonin Islands to the South. The maps below are detailed close-ups of annexed Taiwan, Bonin Islands and Sakhalin Island. Click images for higher detail.

Above: These two maps display how the Japanese empire grew from the main islands of Japan in 1840 (left) to her massive empire from the colonial era years (1922)
In May 1874, the Japanese government sent three thousand and several hundred naval and army soldiers to Taiwan. The native Taiwanese, the Paiwan, rose to action and fought the Japanese who invaded their land. This battle was the modern version of the war fought by the Koreans during the Hideyoshi invasion of Korea around the end of the 16th century and the uprising of the Ainu in Kunashiri-Menashi in 1789.

In March 1876, the Japanese government placed the Bonin Islands under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs and turned them into a Japanese territory .By 1882 all the people of the islands had acquired Japanese nationality.

Three years later in 1879, the Japanese government dispatched troops and police to the Ryukyu Kingdom and brought it into the Japanese Empire. The emperor system was enforced and the King was made a Japanese peer. In September 1891, the Iojima came under Japanese control.

After the Sino-Japanese War, China (Ch’ing) ceded Taiwan, the Pescadores, and the Liatung Peninsula to Japan in accordance with the peace treaty signed in April 1895. At this time, Japan took posses- sion of the Miyako- Yaeyama area (Miyako, Ishigaki, Iriomote and others) and placed them under the supervision of Okinawa prefecture.

Then, in August 1895, Japan signed a treaty with Spain, making the boundary of the two countries at the latitude crossing the middle of the strait between Taiwan and the Philippines. Having been defeated in the war with the US., Spain sold the Philippines to the U.S. for 20,000,000 U.S. dollars and the demarcation line automatically became the boundary between Japan and the U.S.

In 1914, Japan colonized Micronesia which had been a trust territory of Germany. In 1923 and 1926, the Japanese warship Manshu conducted a survey of Okinotorishima, and the Japanese government, by means of a Ministry of Home Affairs public notice, placed the island under the jurisdiction of the administrator of the Bonins, two months prior to the Japanese invasion of northeast China. (September 18th Incident)

Following World War II, Japan was forced to relinquish Micronesia to the U.S. which conducted hydrogen bomb tests there. In 1987, Japan hardened the perimeter of Okinotorishima with reinforced concrete. Okinotorishima, the reefs only 70cm. high at a full tide, became the southern boundary of Japan.

Above images from left to right: the left image shows the sprawling Ryukyus Island chain that leads to Taiwan (then Formosa) center Hokkaido Island, in Japan’s Northern region with part of Sakhalin Island then shared with Russia. right: Japan’s southern outlying islands the Ogasawaras, (Bonin Islands)
Japanese Expansion Eastward
In July 1871, Japan renamed what European people had called Marcus Island (Weeks Island) “Minami torishima” and made it another Japanese territory by a Tokyo prefecture public notice. This marks the eastern boundary of Japan.
Japanese Expansion Westward
In February 1905, while the Russo-Japanese War was being fought, Japan took hold of Tokdo. In September of that year, in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War, Japan colonized “Kuantungshu,” the southern part of the Liaotung Peninsula, and the land appurtenance to the South Manchuria Railway.Korea (Empire of Korea) was annexed in August 1910, and the Sino-Korean boundary became that of Sino-Japanese. At present the western end of the Japanese territory is Yonakunijima in the Yaeyama Islands.
Japanese Expansionism Northeast China, Southeast Mongolia, South China, Hong Kong, and Hainan
In 1931, after the September 18th Incident, Japan colonized Northeast China and Southeast Mongolia and founded Manchukuo, later renamed the Manchurian Empire; set up a puppet government in North China; and occupied Hong Kong and Hainan Island, expanding the Japanese empire’s domain. In Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Northeast China, the Japanese imperialists propagandized the slogans: “Japan and Taiwan are one body,” “Japan and Korea are one body ,” “Manchukuo and Korea are like one,” and “Five Races in Harmony.”

To the right, This Korean political cartoon depicts Japanese President Koizumi re-invading Asia on a warship made of Japanese history books that distort the truth of Japan’s past.

6. Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

The Japanese government issued an outline of Japanese state policy for “the construction of a new order for Greater East Asia” in July 1940, and in September the Imperial Headquarters-Government Liaison Committee defined Japan’s Lebensraum for “the construction of a new order for Greater East Asia.”

It included, in addition to Japan, Manchuria and China, the islands over which Germany had formerly had the mandate, Indochina and the islands in the Pacific in the possession of France, Thailand, Malaya, Borneo under British control, the Dutch East Indies, Burma, Australia and New Zealand.

In February 1941, the Liaison Committee classified the whole world into the four spheres of Greater East Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Russia, and declared that “Japan would assume the political leadership for the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and shoulder the responsibility of maintaining order.” Imperial Japan attempted to divide the world with imperialist countries and Soviet Russia and carve out a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere for itself.

In May 1943, “General Rules for Political Leadership for Greater East Asia” were decided on at the joint conference of Emperor Hirohito, the Japanese government and the leaders of the armed forces including Tojo Hideki. The conference made a decision to incorporate into the Japanese Empire’s territory Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Celebes. The emperor and other imperialists attempted to turn these areas into Japanese territories and then into the “supply sources for essential natural resources.”

They sent Japanese troops to many parts of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in the Pacific under the slogan of the “whole world under one roof,” and brought great calamities to the native people

Post- World War II

1. Decrease in Japan’s Territory

The U.S. had occupied the Amami (Oshima} Islands up to December 1953, the Bonins to June 1968, and the Uchina-Yaeya-ma area up to May 1972. South Sakhalin and the Kuriles did not revert to the indigenous people and are held by the Russians. The Kuriles, Taiwan, South Sakhalin, Korea, Micronesia, Northeast China, Southeast Mongolia were evacuated by the Japanese, but Hokkaido, part of the Ainu Moshiri, still remains a Japanese colony.

In 1899, the Japanese government enacted an act for the protection of the aborigines. Under the act, a small wasteland from the territory Japan had taken was “awarded” as a reservation for the. Ainu to cultivate, and under the pretext of protection, the Japanese government sought to assimilate them completely. This act where- in the Ainu are called “former aborigines” is still in force. In April 1996, about 100 years after the act was promulgated, an informal comittee of “learned people on possible measures for the Utari,” an unofficial advisory council of the Chief Cabinet Secretary of the government, was organized. It published a report which reads in part:

In the history , at least from the latter part of the medieval ages, it cannot be denied that the northern periphery of the Japan archipelago, particularly Hokkaido that is an inherent part of the Japanese territory, was inhabited by the aborigines.

The “learned people” claimed the homeland of northern peoples as an inherent part of the Japanese territory. It is worth remembering at this point that Japan named the part of the Ainu Moshiri Hokkaido only in 1869. This speaks for itself that Hokkaido is not an inherent part of the Japanese territory, but a colony of Japan. As Korea was freed from Japan’s occupation, the Ainu Moshiri (see picture to left) should be liberated from the control of Japan.

The report also states: Since the Meiji Restoration, our country has started as a modern state, and in the process of the development of Hokkaido… the Ainu have suffered decisive damage socially and culturally… many Ainu have been discriminated against and reduced to poverty.

The physical environment of the Ainu has become dilapidated; the places for life and livelihood of the Ainu have been laid waste; kotan “villages” have degenerated, while Japanese have tried to assimilate them. Racial discrimination has continued, and they have been deprived of their language. These have been done by the Japanese, while the Ainu have been kept from hunting and fishing salmon. In the possession of the Ainu Moshiri, Japan has not desisted from invading other areas and other countries.

2. Japanese Re-occupation Attempted
While the Korean War was being fought, Japan and the U.S. and 48 other countries signed a Treaty of Peace in San Francisco in September 1951. The Japanese economy was revived by the mass production of materials for the U.S. troops in Korea. At the sacrifice of the Korean people, Japanese imperialism revived, and Japan is now laying claim to Tokdo, the northern islands, and Chogyoto (Chogyodai). Today, Tokdo is defended by Korean police and is kept from Japan ‘ s seizure, but Japan has occupied Chogyoto since Okinawa was returned to Japan by the U.S. on May 15, 1972. It was on January 14, 1895, that the Japanese government decided to take possession of the island during the Sino-Japanese War.

Japan refers to the four northern islands as northern territories and is demanding Russia return them. The Russian government should turn the islands not to Japan, but to their original inhabitants; Japan and Russia must return them to the original owners, the Ainu Moshiri (Sakhalin, the Kuriles, Hokkaido and the Mar- itime Province of Siberia.)

C. Korea’s Territorial Limits Violated
After the Tonghak Peasant Army was routed in their revolutionary uprising in 1894, the Korean people could not check the onslaught of the Japanese. In the process of the Japanese colonization of Korea at the turn of the century , the Tulmmen River became the Sino-Korean boundary and Kando (Chinese: Chientao) in Manchuria became a Chinese (Ch’ing) territory.

To the right, This early 1900s Japanese map of Ulleungdo shows Korean (韓人部落) and Japanese (日本人部落居留) settlements on the island. Here Japanese trespassers’ settlements are marked as “Japanese temporary villages on foreign land”

The history of Tokdo can not be studied properly without taking into account the process of the settlement of Korea’s border- lines and that of Japan’s domination of Korea as its colony.

It may be maintained that Korea had developed as a nation-state with the Tonghak Peasant Uprising as a momentum and during the March 1 Independence Movement of 1919, but this nation-state became divided after its liberation. Tokdo marks the eastern extremity of the Korean territory and its stationing of a police force there is meant to defend it against any attempt of Japan to reoccupy the islets.

D. International Law and the Territorial Question
In September 1954, the Japanese government proposed that the Korean government bring the question of Tokdo before the International Court of Justice, but this suggestion was rejected by Korea.

“Korea’s rejection was considered just…” According to Prof. Lee Han-key, “..International law is for imperialist countries even today, and it is impossible to depend on international law for clear-cut criteria for definition and demarcation of national boundaries. It can be said that the International Court of Justice is still under the influence of imperialist countries…”

Japanese Expansionist Policy and the Question of Tokdo – A Conclusion
The Japanese occupation of Tokdo was the initial step toward the invasion of Korea, The Japanese fishermen had encroached on the Korean waters and islands such as Komundo, Ulleungdo, and Narodo; sometimes they built settlements of Japanese “emigrants” and infringed on the Korean fishing grounds. (see above map)

At the beginning of 1910, Foreign Minister Komura Jutaro spoke before the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives of the Diet and noted. To concentrate emigrants in Manchuria and Korea is to concentrate the Yamato (Japanese) people. Prior to the Russo-Japanese War, Japan had been an insular country, but as the result of the war, it has become a sort of continental state.

Had Japan not suffered defeat in the Asia and Pacific war, the multitude of Japanese would have settled down permanently in Northeast China, Korea, Taiwan, Saipan, and Palau, forced the emperor system and the Japanese language upon the natives, and dominated them under the slogans of “Five Races in Harmony” or “Korea and Manchuria are like one body.”

Those Japanese “emigrants” who had invaded many parts of Asia and the Pacific compelled the local peoples to use the Japanese language, built shinto shrines, and renamed places in the Japanese style. As the war ended, these shrines were destroyed and the place names reverted to the original ones in Taiwan, Korea and Northeast China.

To the right, A Japanese neighbour harasses a Korean man in attempt to covet his wife (Dokdo) “Are you going to keep pestering me?” shouts the Korean husband. “Yup..!!” says the Japanese man.

The history of Japan’s aggression still continues today. The Ainu Moshiri that includes the islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Habomai and Shikotan (these .are Ainu words) and that is termed “northern territories” by the Japanese government is the homeland of the Ainu, Uilta, Nivkh and other northern peoples. To free the Ainu Moshiri from the colonial control of Japan is a prerequisite to the task of checking Japan’s reoccupation of Tokdo.

As has already been observed, Sakhalin and Hokkaido were the lands of the aborigines who had first settled down there. The Japanese move to reoccupy Tokdo and re-claim the northern islands is but a link in the chain of its overall imperialistic design against other lands and peoples today to expand its territories including the economic water zone.

In the midst of the imperialistic war between Japan and Russia, both trying to colonize Korea, the former took possession of Tokdo and proceeded to annex all of Korea. It was 36 years before its occupation of Tokdo that Japan named Ainu Moshiri Hokkaido and incorporated it into its territory.

Historically, Tokdo has been within the domain of Korea, and it will become apart of the territory of a unified Korea in the future. It is the territory of South Korea now. If the Japanese. scholars of the modern and contemporary history of Asia wish to forestall Japan’s designs of aggression on other lands and countries, they are advised to cope squarely with the Japanese move to reoccupy Tokdo and re-claim the title of the northern islands. This research activity involves an ideological implication to concur with or negate aggression. It bears on the basic perception of history of the researcher.

If a researcher wishes to check Japan’ s attempt at the reoccupation of Tokdo he or she should clarify the fact and the historical meaning of the occupation of Tokdo in the course of Japan’s aggression against Korea, and examine critically the history of Japanese emigration, i.e. the history of Japan’s colonization of foreign lands and people.