Q&A on Dokdo
- What did Sim Heung-taek, the county magistrate of Uldo-gun (Ulleungdo), report to the acting governor of Gangwon-do regarding Dokdo in 1906?
A Japanese survey team comprised of officials and civilians from the Shimane Prefecture visited Ulleungdo and informed Sim Heung-taek, the county magistrate of Uldo-gun(Uldo county) that Dokdo had been incorporated into Japanese territory.
On April 29, 1906, Yi Myeong-rae, the county magistrate of Chuncheon-gun(Chuncheon County) and the acting governor of Gangwon-do(Gangwon province) reported the matter to the Uijeongbu(State Council of the Korean Empire).
Sim Heung-taek, the county magistrate of Uldo-gun(Uldo county) reported to me [the acting governor of Gangwon province] as follows: Dokdo, which is under the jurisdiction of this county, is some 100 li [old Korean unit of measurement] out at sea. A ship docked at Dodongpo [Dodong Harbor], Uldo-gun, approximately at the 5th hour [7-9 a.m.] on the 4th day of this month [March 28]. A group of Japanese government officials came to the county office and said, “We have come to inspect the islands as Dokdo has now become Japanese territory.” They first inquired on the number of households, size of the population, land area, and agricultural yield and then asked about the size of the staff and budget of the county office. They recorded the information as though they were undertaking a general survey [of the islands] and then left.
I thus report this matter for your consideration as it was brought to my attention.
欝島郡守 沈興澤報告書內開에 本郡所屬獨島가 在於外洋百餘里 外 이삽더니 本月 初四日 辰時量에 輪船一雙이 來泊于郡內道洞浦 而日本官人 一行에 到于官舍야 自云 獨島가 今爲日本領地 故로 視察次 來到이다 이온바... 先問戶總 ∙ 人口 ∙ 土地 ∙ 生産 多少고 且問 人員 及經費 幾許 諸般事務을 以調査樣으로 錄去이기 玆에 報告오니 照亮시믈 伏望等 因으로 准此 報告오니 照亮시믈 伏望
Thereupon, on May 10 of the same year, the Uijeongbu, the highest decision-making body of the Korean Empire, issued the following directive (Directive No. 3)
Directive No. 3
The submitted report has been read and given due consideration. The claim that Dokdo has become [Japanese] territory is completely groundless, so inquire again into the situation in the islands and the activities of the Japanese and submit an updated report.
來報 閱悉이고 獨島領地之說은 全屬無根니 該島 形便과 日人 如何 行動을 更爲査報 事
This shows that the county magistrate of Uldo-gun (Ulleungdo) continued to govern Dokdo in 1906 pursuant to Imperial Decree No. 41 issued in 1900.