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An American Assessment Of South Korea’s Policy Options Towards Its Claim To Dokdo And Its Relations With Japan

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Chapter Summary

Korean-Japanese relations are receiving a higher level of attention in Washington these days, at least in the United States (U.S) House of Representatives, among Washington "think tanks," and in the U.S. media. That is primarily because of the comfort women issue and the importance of Korean women in the Japanese military's comfort women system during World War II. A reading of the historic claims to Dokdo or Takeshima reveals that South Korea has the stronger claim. The history of Korean and Japanese involvement with the islets prior to the beginning of the Meiji era in Japan in 1868 gives little indication that either Korea or Japan made a substantive claim of ownership involving establishing a permanent or semi-permanent presence on the islets. Many South Koreans consider Japan's Takeshima claim to represent a first step in a new Japanese expansionist policy toward Korea.

Keywords: Dokdo; Japan; South Korea; Takeshima claim; United States (U.S)



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