Who owns this relatively small set of islands and reefs found halfway between South Korea and Japan? This has been in dispute for centuries. I find this most recent post by The Big Picture fascinating.
“Isolated, tiny and desolate, The Liancourt Rocks are the center of an international dispute that dates back to the 15th century. Koreans claim sovereignty over what they call “Dokdo”, while the Japanese maintain that the islets are theirs, calling them “Takeshima”. South Korea currently administers this collection of 90 islands and reefs in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), centered about halfway between South Korea and Japan – with only 2 permanent residents and 40 government workers stationed there (police, lighthouse keepers, Fishery Ministry personnel). Although the dispute is centuries old, it has heated up recently due to several incidents: increased efforts in Japan to call attention to the dispute itself, a flip-flop last year by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names where they briefly labeled the rocks as having “Undesignated Sovereignty” (undone by executive order within days), and the public observations in Japan of “Takeshima Day” on February 22nd. South Korean citizens have staged numerous protests against Japan over the past few years, some with extreme demonstrations, including a woman and her son who cut off a finger each, and one man who attempted to set himself on fire.”
Posts and writing like this shows that The Big Picture doesn’t just get its reputation from the extraordinary photos that they find by surfing the wire. The staff there are excellent writers that find incredibly good topics to cover. I also enjoyed that they included an embedded Google Map of the islands. Neat idea.
Source: Dokdo or Takeshima.