All eyes in academia are now focused on an old map attached to an official document from 1877 recording a decision made by Japan’s then-highest administrative office (now prime minister office) and internal affair ministry to exclude Dokdo Island from Japanese seas.
The map shows the location and measurements of Ulleung Island and Dokdo Island. While recording a land registry, the Japanese internal affair ministry sent a letter to the prime minister on March 17, 1877 asking what it should do with Dokdo. The prime minister’s office sent back a reply on the 29th of the same month, along with the attached map, that Dokdo would be excluded from Japanese territory.
A copy of the map was revealed on Wednesday by Seonwoo Young-jun, the chief of the Metropolitan Air Quality Management Office who earned his doctorate from SungKyunKwan University with his studies on the territorial claims over Dokdo. He photographed the map at the Japanese national archive in Tokyo and had it copied.
It might be interesting to watch what kind of a debate this throws up.
I can imagine that a lot of the discussion will focus on the fact that the map was a copy of a photograph and may not be accurate. I wonder how the Japanese national archive will react.