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Commentary on themes by historical period

Classification by historical periods II
From around 1905 when Takeshima was incorporated into Shimane Prefecture until the end of WWII (Meiji era to -1945)

(1) Request for the lease of Takeshima and its incorporation into Shimane Prefecture

Chronology with respect to the incorporation of Takeshima
into Shimane Prefecture, and the decision on the jurisdiction over it

*1 “Otsu General Affairs No. 152” Compilation of Shimane Prefectural Documents, “Takeshima”
*2 “Part of 37 Hibetsu No. 337, The Matter of the Jurisdiction over of the an Uninhabited Island,” Kobun Ruishu

1. Increase in sea lion hunting around Takeshima

 The existence of Takeshima had long been known among fishermen of the Oki Islands. In 1849, a French whaling ship (“Le Liancourt”) gave the name of “Liancourt Rocks” to Takeshima, after which it came to be known locally also as “Lyanko” and “Lanko.”

 Around 1903, sea lion hunting became increasingly active on present-day Takeshima (the same shall apply hereinafter). In May the same year, Yozaburo NAKAI (*1), who operated a business on the Oki Islands, dispatched more than 10 people to Takeshima in view of the business potential of hunting sea lionsNo.13. In April the following year, NAKAI also visited Takeshima with Yujiro HASHIOKA and others to engage in sea lion huntingNo.12.

 However, around the same period, Matsutaro ISHIBASHI, Ryuta IGUCHI and Shigezo KATO were also engaging in sea lion hunting around Takeshima, resulting in overhunting.

2. Submission of request from Yozaburo NAKAI to the central government for the lease of Takeshima

Map (copy) attached to the request for the lease of Takeshima, submitted by Yozaburo NAKAI Repository: Shimane Prefecture Public Records Center

 NAKAI, who was concerned about the overhunting, appealed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce on the need for sea lion hunting around Takeshima to be controlled, and submitted a request for a ten-year lease of Takeshima in this regard.

 In his request for the lease, NAKAI attached a rough map indicating the locations of areas where sea lions came onshore, a fishing hut, a berth, and other facilities on Takeshima, as well as other documents providing supplementary explanations in which he explained the current situation of indiscriminate hunting of sea lions and its impact, and proposed measures to protect resources and manage the hunting of sea lions. In addition, at the end of the request, he attached a rough map showing the areas where the sea lions came onshore in red and the boundaries dividing the island into 16 protected areas in dotted lines (shown on the right).

3. Incorporation of Takeshima into Shimane Prefecture by a Cabinet decision

 In response to NAKAI’s request, the central government conducted a hearing of opinions with Shimane Prefecture. Based on this, it reached a Cabinet decision on January 28, 1905 to name the island “Takeshima” and place it under the jurisdiction of the Director of Oki Islands branch office, Shimane Prefecture.No.14.

 The series of events leading to this decision is set out on the following page. After the Cabinet decision to incorporate Takeshima into Shimane Prefecture, on February 22 the same year, the Governor of Shimane Prefecture issued an official notice to name the island “Takeshima” and put it under the jurisdiction of the the Director of Oki Islands branch office, Shimane PrefectureNo.18, based on the instruction of the Home Ministry to issue the noticeNo.17.

 In our research, it has been confirmed that the abovementioned Cabinet decision was included in the Kenmei-roku (Record of Items) of Cabinet decisions at the timeNo.15. A newspaper article (dated July 10, 1905) reporting on the incorporation of the island known as “Liancourt Rocks” into Shimane Prefecture has been also confirmed. The article also reported that the island had been named “Takeshima”No.16.

*1 Born in Ogamo Village, Tohaku County of Tottori Prefecture in 1864. Resided in various parts of Japan including Kyushu, San’in, and Hokuriku, and traveled to countries such as Russia (Vladivostok) and Korea, engaging in the development of fisheries business such as sea cucumber and abalone fisheries. Commissioned by the Oki Fisheries Association to promote a fishery experiment project.

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