America likely to side with Japan on Dokdo due to imperialist past?

In what the KT bills as the first part of a series highlighting Park Geun-hye’s options on dealing with the US, Jane Han has a lengthy interview with Daegu University Japanese studies professor Choi Jang-geun. He feels winning over the Americans on Dokdo should be priority one due to the “underlying probability” that the U.S. will side with Japan because the American imperialist past prevents them from understanding Korea’s position.

Korea and the U.S. have a different perception of territory. Unlike Korea, the U.S. does not have a perception of inherent territory,’’ explained Choi. “As we all know, today’s U.S. was once a land that was owned and occupied by Native Americans. The land was taken through a process of imperialist territorial invasion.”

Yah, I can see the incoming President Park floating that diplomatic language out there on her first visit to Washington. Might as well lecture Obama on the injustice of slavery as well.

Choi has a couple other notable quotes you can read on your own.

  • DC Musicfreak

    I say check to see if this Choi has a fake Ph.D. : “You’re mistaken if you think Dokdo is still a matter between Korea and Japan. It has now become an international issue, just as Japan wanted it to be,’’ he said.

    Dokdo Times couldn’t do better than this.

  • frogmouth

    Consider this Japanese lobbyists!

    If Korea won the case at ICJ the ROK could unilaterally enforce a boundary only 78kms from the Oki Islands. There would be nothing Japan could do.

    If Japan disputed Korea’s claim to an EEZ beyond Takeshima, (a rock) they could not claim the 300,000 sq kms around Okinotorishimas. (a rock)

    Japan’s dragging Korea to ICJ does not come without potentially serious consequences. If Japan loses they’ll lose almost all of the Sea of Japan (East Sea)

  • DC Musicfreak

    I’d like to hear from an actual UNCLOS expert on this. Sounds fishy and comes from a Korean shill.

  • cliff_dangers

    ” today’s U.S. was once a land that was owned and occupied by Native Americans.” He’s only half right. They did occupy the land but did not own it. They didn’t believe in owning land.

  • bingobangoboy

    Anyone who thinks the USA is going to get involved by siding against the current occupiers of Dokdo (or Senkaku or the Kurils, etc) probably needs to reconnect with the real world.

  • cm

    US wouldn’t take sides in this case, that would be against their national interest. Who is this retard anyway.

  • frogmouth

    DC, Japan’s stance has always been that rocks can generate EEZs. I think more recently Korea has been pushing for an EEZ around Dokdo as well.

    If Korea were to solidify her ownership over Dokdo and claim an EEZ resulting in an equidistant line between Dokdo and Oki Islands what possible objection could the Japanese raise? I think Japan claims 200 nautical miles around Okinotorishimas which are even smaller than Dokdo.

    The late Jon Van Dyke has pointed out Japan’s position regarding Okinotorishimas dictates her posture toward Dokdo (Takeshima). Japan is afraid to stray from this approach.

    It would be hard for Japan to argue in court that the Okinotorishimas could generate an EEZ but Dokdo can’t when they are essentially the same.

    Van Dyke’s article is here at the top.

  • provIdence

    There is a small Japanese islet called Torishima off Cheju. If Korea would choose Liancourt Rocks as origin of EEZ, Japan would also elect Torishima as origin of EEZ. I hear that the sea area thus Korea gains is much smaller than that Japan gains by doing so.

  • frogmouth

    Torishima is not near Cheju. I’m pretty sure it’s around 200kms from Iedo that submerged rock formation.

    Japan already claims every seagull turd as an EEZ so it wouldn’t really effect Korea’s Cheju but it may limit Socotra Rocks EEZ.

  • que337
  • wangkon936

    A Dokdo related post and no sign of Gerry Bevers. Is he dead?

  • provIdence

    I gave the name of Cheju so that you don’t get lost in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific. So saying, I got lost somewhere posting through Safari. I am now using Chrome on Mac to repeat the process. I hope you can get some information from the wiki entry below. Please use JK or JE translation if you don’t understand Japanese:鳥島_(長崎県)

  • provIdence

    Although I gave the name of Cheju so that you don’t get lost in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific, I seem to be keeping get lost in posting, first using Safari on Mac, next time following “reply” via Chrome. Anyway, I came across with a good wiki entry on Torishima which frogmouth may have correctly indicated. Although the entry is in Japanese, I hope you can get some information through translation:鳥島_(長崎県)

    By the way, it may be better not to fool a small rock formation in the middle of Pacific. It could be a part of one of the greatest mountain formations on the earth.

  • wangkon936

    Uncle Sam, just continue to stay neutral por favor.

  • que337

    Wow, how many Torishima are in Japan? At least eight places are identically named Torishima. Among them only one appears on google map (the one in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). The rest of them must be real tiny uninhabitable rocks which, from the google map’s standpoint, are embarrassingly small to identify as “islands” of geographical significance.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Choi Jang-geun explains: “Korea and the U.S. have a different perception of territory. Unlike Korea, the U.S. does not have a perception of inherent territory . . . . As we all know, today’s U.S. was once a land that was owned and occupied by Native Americans. The land was taken through a process of imperialist territorial invasion.”

    By Choi’s logic, most nations of the world will side with Japan, since most of them occupy land that was once taken from some people or other.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • wangkon936

    I think Koreans who wrote the article that the post mentions have a severe misunderstanding of America. We are talking about a country that took islands from other countries (Cuba, the Philippines, Samoa, Puerto Rico, etc.) and natives (Hawaii).

    Koreans held Dokdo just after the Korean war with 30 ill equipped infantry, sank an intruding Japanese Coast Guard boat and killed 16 Japanese sailors/coast guard that was approaching the islets with 60mm mortar rounds. That took serious balls. Americans appreciate balls. Korea should just drop the pretenses and claim the territories via adverse possession. They have been squatting on the land for 60 some odd years. It’s there’s via adverse possession, no? Americans will understand. Most of America was claimed via adverse possession any ways. Yippie kay yay, Manifest Destiny all the way!

  • DC Musicfreak

    There are far, far worse problems with this amateurish article and this “scholar” Choi than that. Start with the entirely false notions that matters regarding Dokdo are going to get worse for Korea or that ROK control is somehow under threat from Japan. Then ask who created the situation Choi laments “It has now become an international issue, just as Japan wanted it to be.” It’s not really an international issue and never was, but the 2012 flare-up is a needless clusterfuck of 100% ROK origin, from Lee Myungbak, to VANK, to the Dokdo Riders, to the Olympic douchebaggery, to countless paid advertisements, to shoddy Korean media to the dearth of competent, clear-eyed Japan analysis in Korea. Absolute silence is far better than anything Korea could say or do about Dokdo going forward, absent a true provocation by Japan — not to be confused with restatements by Tokyo of pro forma positions or symbolic steps by Shimane prefecture.

  • keyinjpop

    He’s been silent for quite a while. I’d say he’s moved on.

  • que337

    Japan’s territorial provocations pertain not only SK but also Russia and China. IMHO, no matter how much vehement reactions Koreans show, not many people in the world would really care. On the other hand, Senkaku and Kuril would be regarded as more seriously weighted international issues. Anyhow, the US troops station in both countries and has been performing successful intermediary role, which also serves the US-Japan-SK alliance. China and Russia are just too much for the US to intervene.

  • MannyBalut

    This issue of Dokdo is quite simple. Is it closer to Korea or Japan? The closest country wins. End of story. The loser must shut the fuck up.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    If that’s your criterion, a lot of territory the whole world over is going to change hands.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • provIdence

    Liancourt Rocks and Torishima appear like a bone and a chunk of meat for Koreans. Liancourt is the bone in their mouth and the possible oil reserve near Torishima is the chunk of meat they might feel a bit pity to lose. If Koreans really and really think that the rocks are Korea’s, they can declare the EEZ around them only to lose the meat forever while the future of the rocks are uncertain.

  • frogmouth

    Koreans have occupied Dokdo long before the concept of EEZs or UNCLOS began drafting the “law” of the sea.

    The current boundary is Dokdo with a 12 mile limit extending toward Japan. Here is the distances of relevant islands and mainlands.

    Koreans mainland gets 235kms of ocean

    Japan’s mainland gets of 195kms ocean.

    Korea’s Ulleungdo gets 110kms of ocean

    Japan’s Oki Islands gets 140kms of ocean

    What’s wrong with the current Japan Korea national limit? This is the same boundary the Americans and Allied Command drew up 60 years ago!

  • provIdence

    Japan is not so much worrying about losing or gaining a little bit of land or sea area as to making disservice to the mankind and history of mankind it would incur by giving in to blatant robberies made by neighboring countries. Although we are not making our efforts for the purpose of the benefit of mankind, we wish our efforts will enhance the hope for better future of the mankind.

  • frogmouth

    Providence quotes…

    “We are not making our efforts for the purpose of the benefit of mankind, we wish our efforts will enhance the hope for better future of the mankind…”


    Since when do you speak on behalf of Japan’s MOFA?

    A how does Japan’s claim to Dokdo (Takeshima) “enhance the future of mankind?”

    The future of mankind relies on nations bilaterally negotiating territorial disputes and arriving at equitable solutions. This would mean dividing up ocean territory as to not encroach upon another nation. Again look at the current boundary and tell what the problem is instead of giving flowery speeches.

  • Fei Zhang

    Considering our ancestors were all imperialists at some point or another whether or not they left the African continent, that’s not really much of an epithet.

  • Fei Zhang

    Ten thumbs way, way up.

  • provIdence

    Thanks for correcting my poor English. I was so much absorbed in creating a sentence using “not so much as” in it, and did not pay much attention to the subject which was apparently important for better communication.

    As for the matter of islets in question, I vaguely remember a Korean discussion over the (KJ or Jk) Fisheries Agreement that the existence of such Agreement was a sheer evidence that the islets are under Japanese sovereignty. Whatever the reason, the conclusion would be right and acceptable for all people in the world.

  • frogmouth

    The fishing agreement has nothing to do with the sovereignty over Dokdo (Takeshima) It’s this kind of ridiculous misinterpretation that makes it impossible for Japan and Korea to jointly utilize Dokdo (Takeshima) adjacent waters.

    As soon as Korea softens her stance on Dokdo Japanese, lobbyist and lawyers scrutinize the agreement and find an interpretation to undermine Korea’s claim.

    Fisheries agreements are not related to Korea’s claim to Dokdo.

  • provIdence

    Problems inherent to the Fisheries Agreement were discussed among Koreans. So, your criticism must be addressed to Koreans if you wish to do so.

  • frogmouth

    I’m not criticizing Koreans. I’m criticizing Japan’s government for using a fishing agreement made in good faith as an underhanded way to degrade Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo (Takeshima)
    Thus, Japanese shouldn’t expect any concessions from Koreans with regard to territorial disputes.
    Anyway, some of these positons are just legal “experts” opinion on how the fishing agreement may or may not have affected Dokdo’s sovereignty.

  • provIdence

    I wonder why you don’t criticize Koreans knowing, as I understand from what you have written, that Koreans have been releasing and missing the sovereignty over the rocks for a few schools of fish. Korean children loudly singing the uritang song would be aghast at the grownups if they were to knew the fact. You are not in a position of criticizing people of giving mind.

  • stereo

    The Joint fishing zone around Takeshima in the Fishing Treaty is nothing but a reflection of the fact that the sovereignty of Takeshima is disputed. No honest person can deny that.

  • frogmouth

    Providence, you are misinterpreting me. I don’t agree with anyone Korean or Japanese who say fishing agreements have any bearing over Dokdo’s sovereignty.

    I’m critical of those who territorialize this island dispute. In fact, I don’t believe Dokdo is a good basis point from which Korea or Japan should draw their EEZ.

    The current 12 mile limit around Dokdo is fair. If we use the current UNCLOS laws, an equidistant line between Ulleungdo and Japan’s Oki Islands is also legal.

  • provIdence

    I once read a Korean newspaper article, written in Japanese, where, as I remember, a person from Dokdo Center, Headquarters, or whatever the like discussed that the very existence of the fisheries agreement was endangering the sovereignty of the ilets and must be abrogated. Such discussion apparently falls in the category you don’t agree, and I rightly recommended you might as well criticize such people rather than criticizing Japan’s government.

    As for the islets, Japanese government may not make much fuss about them so far as some incarnated sea lions are playing around there.

    I rather wish you don’t criticize any Koreans and remain at the far left, with Mr. Bevers at the far right and Mr. Salmon, who may not appear here I believe, in the middle on my uri-nam scale. As I am very far from you obviously on the scale, I wish, if you please, to more often join your debate to enlarge the scope of discussion although my capacity of expression and scope of knowledge are rather limited.

  • RGP13

    For a start Japan tried to Colonize all of Korea from 1905 to 1945 (the lost WWII). It is Korean, period, end of discussion.
    The Japanese have have restarted their Imperialist attitudes, fueding with China, Taiwan, Korea and Russia. The racist little barbarians should brought up short.

  • que337

    Bevers mentioned that he was being tracked down by NIS agent after he met with a Japanese reporter in Seoul. Bevers has been silent, after suspicion raised that the reporter might be a secret agent for government of Japan. Otherwise, his contract might get expired and replaced by “Texas Daddy.”