In a somewhat meandering article entitled, "A Korea-Japan alliance?" Peter M. Beck, who is supposedly a Research Fellow at Keio University in Tokyo, suggests that Japan's refusal to give up her "hopeless" claim to "Dokdo" is hurting the chances of creating a Korea-Japan alliance that could help counter an increasingly belligerent China and North Korea. Moreover, he believes that by giving up its claim to "Dokdo," Japan would receive "a flood of Korean goodwill."
I see three problems with the logic Mr. Beck uses in his attempt to entice Japanese to give up their claim to "Dokdo," and one of them is a really big one.
First, "Dokdo," which is called "Takeshima" by the Japanese, is just a small cluster of barren rocks in the middle of the Sea of Japan with no real economic or strategic importance, which means a territorial dispute over such insignificant rocks should not be an obstacle to forming an alliance between Korea and Japan. It is not Japan that considers the rocks an obstacle; it is Korea, even though Korea occupies the rocks. Therefore, if Korea is willing to put such insignificant rocks ahead of an alliance with Japan, then that is evidence that the alliance would not really be worth much.
Second, I think any Korean goodwill that Japan would receive by giving up her claim to Takeshima would be only temporary. Koreans would soon find other reasons for withholding their "goodwill." Therefore, giving up her claim to Takeshima would not really benefit Japan in the long run, unless she could get something more tangible in exchange,
Last, the biggest reason Japan cannot, and should not, give up her claim to Takeshima is that it would mean, in effect, accepting Korea's historical claims to Takeshima, which are essentially nothing but lies. Historically, Takeshima was never Korean territory, so until Korea recants her lies about Takeshima, Japan has an obligation to History to continue to maintain her claim to the barren rocks.
Mr. Peter M. Beck has responded HERE to my comment about his article, which I have linked to above. The following is how I responded to his comment.
I did not focus on “Korean lies” in my above response to your article. I focused on your flawed logic, which, by the way, was shown again in your statement, “My views cannot be too flawed or biased as a major Japanese newspaper has asked me to write a version for them!”
There is nothing ambiguous about the fact that Japan, in 1905, incorporated Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks), which you chose to refer to by its Korean name, “Dokdo.”
The fact that you have asked me “to explain why several official Meji maps indicate the rocks as being Korean” tells me that you do not really understand the history of the Rocks or the map confusion of the 1800s, which was caused by the mismapping of the Korean island of Ulleungdo by the British ship “Argonaut.”
Korea has no old maps showing Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) by any name or any documents showing that Koreans ever claimed or even visited the Rocks before the Japanese starting taking them there as deckhands on Japanese fishing boats in the early 1900s. In fact, the Rocks are only mentioned about three times in Korean history as being a distant, unnamed island visible from Ulleungdo, and each time it was referred to as being Japanese territory or suggested as being Japanese territory.
Let me say, again. There is no evidence that Korea ever claimed Liancourt Rocks before Japan incorporated them in 1905, and there is no evidence that Japan ever recognized any imaginary Korean claim to the Rocks.
Even without knowing which of the “several official Meiji maps” you are referring to, I can say pretty confidently that none of them recognized Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) as Korean territory. Are these “official” Meiji maps the only evidence you have to claim that the Rocks were Korean?