In the far east of South Korea, is Dokdo Island the first place in the nation to greet the sunrise.
And October 25th. has been designated as a special day to celebrate the island which is a symbol of Korean independence and sovereignty.
It is because, on this day back in 1900, Korea first declared Dokdo as its territory.
Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire made a statement against Japan, which was attempting to dispossess the Korean Peninsula of its properties ahead of its invasion.
One hundred years later, a private organization The Party for Tokdo Protection and other civic groups designated the day as "Dokdo Day".
The claim is based upon a mountain of evidence that Dokdo is indisputably Korean territory.
One of the oldest pieces of proof is found in an early government document from the Joseon era.
In the geography section of the Annals of King Sejong. published in 1454 , it is recorded that both Ulleungdo and Dokdo belong to Gangwon-do Province.
It also specifically notes that "Dokdo and Ulleungdo are not located far apart from each other, so Dokdo is visible from Ulleungdo on a clear day."
Dokdo, in fact, is the only island that is visible from Ulleungdo with bare eyes.
In the meantime, Japan had made several attempts to falsely claim ownership of what it calls Takeshima. with a regional notice in 1905, announcing the incorporation of Dokdo into its territory.
But as Korea had firmly established evidence of its territorial sovereignty over Dokdo, the notice not only infringed on Korea’s rights but also lacked legal force under international law.
Most importantly, in 1951, following the end of World War II. Japan signed the Treaty of Peace, which clearly states that it recognizes the independence of Korea,. and renounces all rights, titles and claims to Korea.
With Dokdo of course included in the territory.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.