Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Takeshima Day!

I'm always willing to entertain the other side of an argument, so as a public service, and in honor of Takeshima Day, here is Shimane Prefecture's comprehensive argument on why Tokto Takeshima belongs to Japan:
Although there is no record of the exact date of Takeshima's discovery, the islands have been known to Japanese people since the beginning of the Edo Period (1603-1868) at the latest.

In the year 1618, Jinkichi Oya and Ichibei Murakawa of Yonago City received permission form the Shogunate Government to sail to Ulleung Island in order to catch abalone,sea lions, and to cut down trees and bamboo for lumber. On their way to Ulleung Island, they used Takeshima as a midway port, and also hunted and fished there. In 1661, the Oya Family and Murakawa Family were granted official permission to travel to Takeshima by the Shogunate Government.

The Shogunate Government prohibited visits to Ulleung Island in 1696 owing to a conflict between Japan and Korea, but visits to Takeshima were not banned. In 1836, a man named Imazuya Hachiemon was punishued because he sailed to Ulleung Island “on the pretext of visiting Takeshima”. Knowledge of Takeshima was maintained throughout the Edo Period by recording the islands in books and on maps.

After the Meiji Restoration, large numbers of fishermen began to visit Ulleung Island again, and Takeshima was used as a midway port. Since the end of the second decade of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) people of the Oki Islands have hunted and fished for abalone, sea lions and other marine life on Takeshima.

Given the historical background of Takeshima, there is no doubt that it belongs to Japan.
So there you have it: We knew about it for a long time, so it's ours. Never mind information to the contrary, like the fact that Japan's 1905 claim of alleged terra nullius negates all of the aforementioned. Some in Japan, of course, know this quite well.

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