4. Incorporation of Takeshima into Shimane Prefecture
- At the beginning of the 1900s, full-scale sea lion hunting started around Takeshima. However, since sea lion hunting soon became excessively competitive, Yozaburo Nakai, a resident of the Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture, to stabilize his sea lion hunting business, submitted a request in September 1904 to three government ministers (Home Minister, Foreign Minister, Agriculture and Commerce Minister) for the incorporation of the "Lyanko Islands" (a Japanese colloquial term for Takeshima derived from "Liancourt Islands," the Western name given to Takeshima) into the territory and for a 10-year lease.
- Upon this request from Nakai, the government confirmed that there was no problem in bringing Takeshima under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands branch office of the Shimane Prefectural Government and that "Takeshima" was the appropriate name for the islands, after hearing opinions from Shimane Prefecture. Accordingly, in January 1905, the government specified with a cabinet decision that the islands came under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands branch office of the Shimane Prefectural Government and that the islands were officially named "Takeshima," which was communicated to the Governor of Shimane Prefecture by the Minister of Home Affairs. This cabinet decision reaffirmed Japan's intention to claim sovereignty over Takeshima.
- Based on the cabinet decision and the ministerial instruction from the Minister of Home Affairs, the Governor of Shimane Prefecture published in February 1905 that Takeshima was officially named "Takeshima" and that it came under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands branch of the Shimane Prefectural Government, which he also informed. These measures were carried in the newspapers of the day and were widely publicized.
- As the cabinet decision stipulated that Takeshima came under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands branch office of the Shimane Prefectural Government, the governor registered Takeshima into the State Land Register, and introduced a license system for hunting sea lions, the hunting of which continued from then until 1941.
- In Korea, some claim that there are records of an official announcement that, with Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of 1900, Utsuryo Island was renamed Utsu Island and the head of the island became the county magistrate. This ordinance stipulates that the region under the jurisdiction of Utsuryo County is "all of Utsuryo Island, Takeshima and Ishi-jima," and some researchers point out that, although this "Takeshima" refers to a small island called "Chikusho" near Utsuryo Island, "Ishi-jima (Stone island)" actually corresponds to the current "Dokdo", because "Dol" (stone) is also pronounced as "Dok" in Korean dialect and that "Ishi-jima" can be written as "Dokdo" with Chinese characters when the pronunciation is taken into consideration.
- However, if "Ishi-jima" corresponds to the current Takeshima ("Dokdo"), some questions arise: why the Imperial Ordinance of 1900 did not use "Dokdo" as the island's name; why the name "Usan Island" (or another name), which the ROK claims to be the former name of Takeshima, was not used. Even if these questions are answered, there is still no evidence that Korea had control over Takeshima around the time of the promulgation of the imperial ordinance. Therefore, it is considered that Korea had not established sovereignty over Takeshima.
- Request for the incorporation into the territory and lease of the Lyanko Islands [PDF]
- Cabinet Decision on January 28, 1905 [PDF]
- Ministerial Instruction from the Minister of Home Affairs No. 87 [PDF]
- Shimane Prefecture's Notice No. 40 [PDF]
- Shimane Prefecture General Affairs Notice No. 11 [PDF]
Back to Index