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Legalism, Geopolitics, And Morality: Perspectives From Law And History On War Guilt In Relation To The Dokdo Island Controversy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contends here for giving moral considerations, especially with regard to war crimes and basic human rights, an overarching priority-indeed, a priority justified by the specific historic background, even over positive law as represented by the terms of the Japan Peace Treaty signed in San Francisco in 1951. It gives attention to the two key elements of Japan's claim to Dokdo. First of these elements is Japan's claim based upon the timing of its initial physical occupation of Dokdo and annexation to its home islands government. The second is Japan's literalist-that is to say, its formalist or legalistic-reading of the Japan Peace Treaty's language regarding the territories that were specified as being ceded back to Korea. In concluding the analysis, the author contends for a determinative moral perspective on the Dokdo debate .

Keywords: Dokdo island controversy; Japan peace treaty; Korea; war crimes



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