Rocks of Liancourt
The rocks of Liancourt , Dokdo (Hangul: 독도, Hanja: 獨島 - " island lointaine") in Korean and Takeshima (Kanji: 竹島 - " island in bambou") in Japanese, is an small group of small island S located in Mer of Japan (Mer of the East in Korean) South Korean possession but whose sovereignty is disputed by Japan.
Whereas the first demonstrations of occupation by Korea go back to the sixth century, the island was occupied by the Japanese of 1905 to 1945. Dokdo is currently placed under the sovereignty and the jurisdiction of South Korea and belongs administratively to Ulleungdo in the area of the Gyeongsang of North. A distance of 87 km separates the archipelago from the island Ulleung-C (울릉도). Japan, for its part, considers that this group of islands is called Takeshima and always forms part of its territory, attached to the village of Goka, town of Okinoshima, in the district of Oki of the Préfecture of Shimane.
GeographyThe rocks of Liancourt are mainly made up of 2 rock and escarpés small islands, distant of 150 meters ( Seodo and Dongdo in Korean, Nishi-jima and Higashi-jima in Japanese, meaning in the two languages Western island and Eastern island). The Western small island is largest of both. They are surrounded by surroundings 90 small islands or reefs, of the volcanic rocks dating from the Cénozoïque. 37 of these small islands are regarded as earth continuities.
The total surface area is approximately 187.450 m with a maximum height of 169 meters on the Western small island. This last measures approximately 88.640 m for only 73.300 m for the Eastern small island. The rocks of Liancourt are located by 131°52 ′ longitude is and 37°14 ′ of northern latitude. They are to 217 km of continental Korea and 250 km of the principal archipelago of Japan. But the Korean territory nearest, the island Ulleung-C, are located only at 87 km (visible in clear weather) while the Japanese territory nearest, the Oki islands, are to 157 km.
The Western small island consists of a peak single and present of many cavities along its coast. The Eastern small island has cliffs from 10 to 20 meters in height. There exist two large caves opening on the sea as well as a crater. The vegetation is almost non-existent.
With their position, far from any coast, and their small size, the rocks of Liancourt know sometimes hard weather conditions. Time changing quickly in the zone makes the accesses difficult and random. Often the ships cannot accost because of strong winds of the North-West in winter. If not, the climate hot and wet, is strongly influenced by the hot oceanic currents of the zone. Precipitations are high throughout the year (annual average of 1324 mm), with rare snowfalls. The fog is frequent. The summer, the winds of the south dominate. Water neighborhood has a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius in spring, when water is coldest and approximately 25 degrees Celsius in August.
The rocks of Liancourt were uninhabited except for a small garrison of Korean coastguards estimated at about thirty men and guards of headlight.
In the summit meeting of the Western island is a headlight, a semaphore with radar and various antennas radios, the residences of the troop and a platform for helicopters. The unit is protected by some military batteries.
More pressing claims
Since the come to power of Jun' ichiro Koizumi (), the Japanese claims on the islands of Rocks of Liancourt were done public. In 2005, Japan thus decided to found one " day; Takeshima" (of the Japanese name of the islands), while the Japanese school handbooks relay the governmental position by affirming Japanese sovereignty on the rocks of Liancourt.
For their part, the Koreans made rocks of Liancourt a symbol of their national independence with respect to Japan. Indeed, the Dokdo islands were the first Korean territory to be annexed by the Japanese empire in 1905. As James Brook observes it:
A great part of the anger of South Korea comes from knowledge owing to the fact that, in 1905, Dokdo were the first piece of the Korean territory to be annexed by Japan. In five years, Japan had colonized the whole of the peninsula. Dokdo " are the first Korean territory to be lost with the profit of Japan when the nation was stripped of its souveraineté" , the National council of safety declared Korean last month. " It is not only one territorial question, but anything else that a refusal of the history of our national release, just as a justification of the agression."
Beyond the political symbol, the islands also represent from now on a commercial economic issue and of size, source of litigations as for the delimitation of the exclusive economic zones, determining for the fishing and the underwater prospection.
The North Korea for its part considers that the islands belong to the “Korean Nation” and speaks about pirate” and “anachronistic” request a “of Japan.
The government of the United States refuses to take party on the legitimate administrator of the islands.
A natural reserve
Uninhabited, except for the small garrison, the rocks of Liancourt constitute an important natural reserve, in particular for the migratory birds. Twenty-two species of birds populate the archipelago, protected as a " monument naturel" by the South Korean legislation since 1982.
- Korean Government Official Web site, Repulic off Korea
- the official site of the Republic of Korea, in French
- Shimane Prefectural Government, Japan
- The Japanese Ministry off Foreign Affairs
- the official site of " Cyber Dokdo" , governmental
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