Japan has been in constant confrontation with Korea through their assertions that Dokdo has been part of Japan since its incorporation to Japanese territory in 1905. This assertion is based on the notion that Dokdo had been terra nullius before 1905. Furthermore, some of those documents actually specify that Japan did not acknowledge Dokdo as part of their own territory. Related references from Japan are as follows:
The “Tottori-han’s Response” (1693)
In 1693, Joseon’s (1392-1910) fishermen, including Yong-bok An and the Ohya and Murakawa families of Tottori-han of Japan argued over fishing rights near the coast of Dokdo and Ulleungdo. The two Japanese families petitioned the Japanese government to stop the Koreans from taking a passage to Ulleungdo. Eventually, Tsushima and the Korean government began diplomatic negotiations over the dominium of Dokdo and Ulleungdo; this incident is referred to as the “Ulleungdo Dispute.” As a result, the Edo Shogunate (Japan between 1603 and 1868) acknowledged that Ullengdo and Dokdo were not part of Tottori-han in what became known as the “Tottori-han’s Response.” In January 28th, 1696, the shogunate prohibited all Japanese civilians from passing through Ulleungdo.
Japanese shogunate’s inquiry to Tottori-han to determine whether Ulleungdo was a part of Tottori-han and whether there were other islands under Tottori-han’s jurisdiction
- Since when has Takeshima [Ulleungdo], which belongs to Inshu and Hakushu [Inaba and Hoki; today’s Tottori prefecture] been under the jurisdiction of the two states [Inaba and Hoki]?
- Apart from Takeshima [Ulleungdo], are there any other islands that belong to the two states [Inaba and Hoki]?
Response from Tottori-bun
- Takeshima [Ulleungdo] is not an island that belongs to inaba and Hoki (today’s Tottori prefecture]…
1. As for Takeshima [Ulleungdo] and Matsushima [Dokdo], neither belongs to the two states [Inaba and Hoki] nor are there any other islands belonging to these two states.
The Daijokan Order (1877)
During the 1870s of the Meiji era, Japanese fishermen asked the Japanese government to utilize resources near Ulleungdo, but the Japanese government took account of the Ulleungdo Dispute and turned down their requests. In 1877, the Japanese Ministry of Home Affairs asked the Daijokan (Grand Council of State), Japan’s highest government agency, if Ulleungdo and Dokdo could be included into Japanese geography books. The Daijokan responded, in what is now called “The Daijokan Order,” that Ulleungdo and Dokdo were not part of the Japanese territories since the “Ulleungdo Dispute.” This order was significant in that the sovereignty over Dokdo that was recognized during the “Ulleungdo Dispute” was confirmed once again by the Japanese government.
March 20, 10th year of Meiji
Regarding the inquiry from the Ministry of Home Affairs about Takeshima [Ulleungdo] and another island [Dokdo] in East Sea pertaining to the land registry project
Considering the understanding that our country [Japan] has nothing to do with the two islands as per the conclusion of the negotiations between the old government [Edo shogunate[ and the country concerned [Korea] in the 5th year of Genroku  following the entry of Joseon [Korean] people into the islands, we propose to issue the following:
Regarding Takeshima [Ulleungdo] and another island [Dokdo] about which an inquiry was submitted, bear in mind that our country [Japan] has nothing to do with them.
-Daijokan Order of 1877-
Hosaka, Y. (2010, September 15). Daehanminguk Dokdo [Dokdo of Korea]. Seoul, Korea: Sejong University Dokdo Research Institute, & Chaek-Mun.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. Dokdo, Beautiful Island of Korea. In Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. Retrieved from http://dokdo.mofa.go.kr/eng/pds/pdf.jsp
Northeast Asian History Foundation. (2012, September 6). Ten Truths About Dokdo Not Known in Japan. In Dokdo Research Institute. Retrieved from http://www.nahf.or.kr/Data/board_100/dokdo_Truth/English.pdf
Yong-bok, An. (2014, January 27). In Encyclopedia of Korean Culture. Retrieved from http://encykorea.aks.ac.kr/Contents/Index