Dokdo, Korean desire


In conclusion, although many from other nations regard the issue of Dokdo as an international dispute between Korea and Japan, Koreans consider it an issue that should be felt through the heart and not through formal knowledge. Japan’s unflagging effort to secure Dokdo despite the long 60-year period that has passed since the end of the Japanese Occupation in Korea shows how Japan is still denying the complete liberation of Korea. 

In 1905 Japan, utilizing the advantageous geographical position of Ulleungdo and Dokdo, sank the Russian battleship, Balt, and lead the Russo-Japanese war to a glorious victory. In 1910, 5 years after the Russo-Japanese war, Japan occupied Korea by force, thus greatly damaging the lives of the Koreans both physically and mentally for 35 years. However, with the defeat of Japan in World War II in 1945, Joseon (the original name of Korea during the time period) was liberated, retrieving the whole peninsula, including Dokdo. Yet, the militaristic and imperialistic ideology of Japan during the Japanese Occupation period are unjustifiably claiming the rights for Dokdo even today, 50 years after the liberation. 

For Koreans, however, Dokdo is a national symbol of independence movements against the Japanese colonial administration during the Japanese Occupation period. Furthermore, it is the bulwark preventing the resurrection of Japanese imperialism and militarism again in Asia. 

Therefore, we wish the international society to not perceive the Dokdo issue as a mere territorial dispute between two nations. We, the Koreans who have suffered through the sorrows of colonial history (1910-1945), hope the entire globe to see the issue as a step towards peace of Asia, and a means of preventing the revival of imperialism and militarism of Japan.

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