(Kyodo) _ Shimane Prefecture will mark the first "Takeshima Day" on Wednesday, which the western Japan local government designated in March last year to claim the disputed group of South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan.
Several memorial events will be held with the attendance of Gov. Nobuyoshi Sumita, despite South Korean calls to cancel them.
The designation of the memorial day has led already strained bilateral ties to deteriorate further, with Japan insisting Takeshima, which consists of two small islets and numerous reefs, is part of the prefecture, while South Korea argues the islands, which it calls Dokdo, are part of North Gyeongsang Province.
The Shimane prefectural government says the ordinance is aimed at raising public awareness about the Feb. 22, 1905, issuance of a prefectural notice that declared the islets as part of Shimane.These islands are Korean and the only claims that Japan has to them are based on the same sorts of legalistic parsing of treaties that leads us all to hate insurance companies when we want to make a claim. Their incorporation into Japan in 1905 was part and parcel of Japan's conquest of Korea and its general wiping out of competing local powers like Russia.
I am about 99% certain that the Koreans violated the fishing agreement out of basic greed - as Japundit also explained last year - and given that Shimane has a lot of fishing ports (see pictures below) it should be no surprise that the local legislature is keen to support its fishermen but I think "Takeshima Day" is probably not the right way to do this. In fact I would say that it is precisely the wrong way to do it because it gets a whole bunch of nationalistic morons on both sides worked up and inspires sheeplike politicians to take stands that will impede sensible negotiation.
According to the two countries' agreement concerning fisheries that went into effect in 1999, neither country is to establish an exclusive economic zone around the island, and they are to jointly administer the area surrounding the island by designating it as a provisional area.
But Japanese fishing vessels have been all but excluded from the area, leading frustrated fishermen in the prefecture to back the ordinance.