(1) In light of historical facts and based upon international law, Takeshima is an integral and inherent part of Japanese territory. However a territorial dispute with the Republic of Korea (ROK) exists. The issue should be settled in a calm, fair, and peaceful manner based on international law.
(2) Japan and ROK are important members of the international community adhering to the principle of the rule of law. Japan therefore officially proposed to the Republic of Korea to institute proceedings on this issue before the International Court of Justice. Indeed, as “Global Korea”, it is only appropriate that the ROK accept with dignity the diplomatic proposal presented by Japan. In the current state of circumstances, appealing unilaterally the justification of a nation's claim is not enough to discuss this issue constructively.
(3) The ROK is an important neighboring partner that share common values with Japan. While Japan will assert what she should assert, it is not our intention to stoke up hard line domestic opinion which will be detrimental to national interest of both countries.
2. Facts about the Rightful claim of Japan/ Questionable claim of ROK
(1) Multiple historical documents confirm that Japan established its sovereignty over Takeshima at least by the mid 17 th century. On the other hand, there is no clear cut evidence that Korea recognized the existence of the island, let alone had control over Takeshima before the establishment of Japan's territorial sovereignty. For example a 16 th century document referred to by the ROK to justify their claims, locates the claimed island in a different geographical position to the Takeshima of today.
(2) In January 1905, the Japanese government made a Cabinet decision to incorporate Takeshima into Shimane Prefecture reaffirming our sovereignty over the island. During the drafting of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the ROK submitted to the US a request to include Takeshima among the territories Japan should renounce. The US declined this request, thereby expressing its position that Takeshima is an integral territory of Japan. This position is further verified by the fact that Takeshima was later designated as a bombing range for US Forces in Japan in 1952 by a bilateral agreement under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.
(3) However, in 1952, the ROK disregarded international law and unilaterally proclaimed an artificial boundary encompassing Takeshima (which it called the “Syngman Rhee Line”). Many boats and fishermen were detained and serious casualties were inflicted upon Japanese fishermen during the Syngman Rhee Line period. The question is not about “understanding of history” but whether the unilateral occupation by the ROK is consistent with the law and justice of the international community.
(4) Japan had twice, in 1954 and 1962, proposed to the ROK to bring the case to the ICJ. ROK rejected the proposal. Prime Minister Noda's letter on this subject was not even accepted by the President Lee Myung Bak. If the content of the letter is not acceptable, the ROK should present its counter argument by a responding letter. Such rejection illustrates the shakiness of the ROK claim.
(For more details regarding facts and Japan's position, please refer to the following website: http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/takeshima/ )