Japan from the inside out

Shimane Prefecture’s position on Takeshima/Dokdo controversy

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thanks to Occidentalism for bringing to our attention Shimane Prefecture’s publication and placing online a pamphlet presenting their position on Takeshima/Dokdo, which you can find here. I translated it last August, so they took their time to get it out!

It was reviewed by a man who worked for the Japanese equivalent of the National Archives (I think–I’ve forgotten exactly), who really knew his stuff, as well as being fluent in Korean. Therefore, this is probably what the Japanese government wants to say, but hasn’t said yet.

There’s a lot of worthwhile information in there, and when I was working on it I was surprised that the national government hadn’t been publicizing it more. Perhaps now they will.

If you get the chance, please read the introduction by the prefectural governor, if only to compare his attitude to that too often prevalent in South Korea.

During the course of my research on the translation, I often read materials in English written by Koreans on the issue, and came to the unfortunate conclusion that roughly 95% of the material on the Web about Dokdo from South Korea is utterly worthless. It is a congeries of outright deceptions and half-truths written by people who either know better or haven’t done their research, and parroted and recycled by adolescents and post-adolescents with too much time on their hands.

For the purposes of comparison, I think the official Korean position is here. (I can’t find the site I used last August for this document now.)

Finally, a translator’s note: Other professional translators will know what I mean, so it’s not as if I’m blowing my horn, but the English version wound up being more accurate and clearer than the Japanese. At one point, when I was discussing the revision with the Japanese government official who wanted me to change a passage, I protested that what he wanted to say slightly contradicted the original. He said, “Yes, I know, I’m going to have to talk to them (Shimane) about that!”

4 Responses to “Shimane Prefecture’s position on Takeshima/Dokdo controversy”

  1. infimum said

    a man who worked for the Japanese equivalent of the National Archives (I think–I’ve forgotten exactly)

    Is it the National Archives of Japan 国立公文書館?

  2. ampontan said

    Infimum: I’m not sure where he was from now. After I submitted the initial translation they had me call him, so I was more focused on his name and telephone number. He certainly was knowledgeable, though.

  3. Jon said

    The “SAQ About Japan” link is not working. It was a few days ago.

  4. ampontan said

    Thanks Jon. I looked around and it moved. I linked to the new site.

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