Korean Islands, Korean territory, Dokdo, Tokdo | MOFA Republic of Korea


Q&A on Dokdo

What was the Korean government's response to its Japanese counterpart's proposal in 1954 to refer the issue of Dokdo to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)?

In 1954, when the government of Japan demanded that the matter of Dokdo be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the government of the Republic of Korea conveyed its views to the Japanese party as follows:

The proposal of the government is nothing but another false attempt disguised in the form of judicial procedures. Korea has the territorial rights ab initio over Dokdo and sees no reason why she should seek the verification of such rights before any international court.

As the Japanese government is no doubt well aware, the aggression took place gradually, culminating in the annexation of all of Korea into Japan in 1910. For all practical purposes, however, Japan had seized the power to control Korea in 1904 when Japan forced Korea to sign the so-called Korea-Japan Protocol and the First Agreement between Korea and Japan.

Dokdo was the first Korean territory which fell victim to the Japanese aggression. Now, in view of the unreasonable and persistent claim of the Japanese government over Dokdo, the Korean people are seriously concerned that Japan might be repeating the same course of aggression. To Korea, Dokdo is not merely a tiny island in the East Sea. It is the symbol of Korean sovereignty.

The government of the Republic of Korea continues to maintain the same position.