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  Wikipedia: Liancourt Rocks

Wikipedia: Liancourt Rocks
Liancourt Rocks
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Liancourt Rocks (Japanese: Takeshima 竹島, Korean: Dokdo 독도) are islets in the Sea of Japan, claimed by both Japan and South Korea but having been occupied by South Korea since 1953.


The first known reference to the islands, proclaiming them a part of the independent Korean island state of Usankuk, became protectorate of Silla Dynasty in 512 AD. Usanguk became protectorate of Goryeo in 930 as Silla fell. According to Japanese records, the islands, then known as Matsushima, were granted to the Ooya and Murakawa families of Hoki province (modern Tottori) by the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 1650s. The common English name, Liancourt Rocks, was given by a French whaling ship in 1849.

After a request by a Japanese fisherman, on February 22, 1905 the islands under the name Takeshima were proclaimed a part of Shimane prefecture in Japan under the doctrine of terra nullius. During World War II, the island was used as a naval base by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Upon Japan's defeat and occupation by the Allies, SCAP Instruction #677 of January 29, 1946 excluded the islands from Japan's administrative authority. However, the instruction specifically disclaimed that it was not an 'ultimate determination' of the islands' fate. The 1952 Treaty of San Francisco, which settling sovereignty of most other disputed islands, did not mention the islands.

On April 20, 1953, South Korean volunteer coast guards set up camp on the island. On June 27, 1953, two Japanese coast guard vessels landed on the East Islet, drove off the Korean guards and set up a territorial marker, but did not attempt permanent occupation. The Koreans soon returned and several armed skirmishes followed, leading to the sinking of a Japanese ship by Korean mortar fire on April 21, 1954. Japan protested and suggested arbitration at the International Court of Justice, but the offer was rejected by South Korea. After the incident, South Korea built a concrete lighthouse and helicopter landing pad on the islet, which it has occupied ever since.

Current Situation

The issue of sovereignty over the islands was omitted from the 1965 Basic Relations Treaty, and both sides maintain territorial claims. The United States maintains a policy of non-recognition for claims by either side.

The dispute has periodically flared up again, typically when South Korea acts to change the islets or their status (for example, building a wharf in 1996 or declaring them a national park in 2004), resulting in a reassertion of the territorial claim by Japan. In 2002, two Japanese textbooks questioning Korea's claim to the islets was published, leading to protests in South Korea.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona