Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sunset over Takashima

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Living as I do in a narrow, steep valley, I rarely get to see the sunrise or sunset, so it was particularly exciting yesterday evening to watch the spectacular sunset over Takashima.

We were in Miho Misumi, about half-way between Hamada and Masuda. Takashima lies a couple of kilometres offshore. It is now uninhabited, but was inhabited until fairly recently.

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Takashima should not be confused with Takeshima! Takeshima is the Japanese name for a group of rocks that lie much closer to Korea than Japan, and are controlled by Korea who call them Dokdo. Currently there is a diplomatic spat between the 2 countries as the Japanese Education Ministry has decided to teach Japanese children that Dokdo belongs to Japan. Japan claimed ownership in 1905 a short while before they annexed Korea and while the Korean Foreign Ministry was already controlled by Japan and therefore in no position to argue. Historically the Korean claim to the rocks is much stronger. Japan has territorial disputes with Korea, China, Taiwan, and Russia..... all of its neighbors!

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