Takeshima/Dokdo Problem in the San Francisco System

Reconsidering Its Origin and Settlement in a Multilateral Framework

Kimie Hara

Various issues were left unresolved in the San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan. The Takeshima/Dokdo problem is no exception. A close examination of the post-war territorial disposition of Japan suggests that these issues were left unresolved under the strong influence of the Cold War. The treaty was prepared and signed in a multilateral framework, in which several issues were linked together. However, their historical and political linkages have been neglected or overlaid by other features over the years. Remembering its Cold War origin and multilateral linkages, settlement of the Takeshima/Dokdo problem may be considered together with other outstanding issues in a broader multilateral framework. There are important lessons to learn from the European experiences, including the 1975 Helsinki Declaration (Accords). A workable settlement formula would include mutual concessions and collective gains among the concerned parties in East Asia.