The Takeshima islands had been a fishing ground for Japanese fishermen since the Edo period (1603-1867). In 1905, the islands were incorporated into Shimane Prefecture. Under the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which stipulated the post-World War II territory of Japan, the islands are considered part of Japan.
Seoul sees might as right
In January 1952, shortly before the treaty went into effect in April, then South Korean President Syngman Rhee declared sovereignty over the waters around South Korea and drew a line in the Sea of Japan, claiming fishing rights in the area and sovereignty over the Takeshima islands, known as Tokdo in South Korea. Later, South Korea stationed an armed presence on the islands and has occupied the islands ever since.
In March, Seoul permitted its nationals to go on a sightseeing tour of the islands. In April, South Korea's National Assembly passed into law a bill concerning the sustainable use of the islands. Through these steps, South Korea is accumulating a number of fait accompli to reinforce its effective control of the islands
The waters around the islands are good spots for such marine products as snow crab. In November 1998, Japan and South Korea signed a fishery accord, whereby the waters around the islands were defined as "provisional waters," putting the islands effectively under joint control.
Although seven years have passed since then, the two countries have yet to confirm specific conditions for fishing, in effect driving Japanese fishing vessels out of the area.Feb. 22, 2006The Yomiuri Shimbun,