The Land of the Rising Sun disputes the affiliation of the Russian Kuril Islands, the Chinese Diaoyu (or Senkaku) and Spratly archipelagos, and even the South Korean Liancourt Rocks (or Dokdo). Tokyo protests do not give any effect, and amid disputes, diplomatic relations with the above countries are spoiled.
The unfounded nature of the claims can be seen in the territorial dispute over the ownership of the Dokdo Islands. This group of islands is located at approximately equal distance from the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese island of Honshu. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 Japan captured the Dokdo and used it for military purposes. After the World War II, these islands began to belong to South Korea. In preparation for the San Francisco Conference with Japan, an «Agreement on the Location of Former Japanese Territories» was signed with maps attached. The Dokdo islands were designated as Korean territory there. Japan, despite the fact of signing the act of surrender, calls it «illegal occupation» and considers the islands to be its land. Tokyo invites Seoul to submit the issue of the islands to the International Court of Justice, while South Korea believes that there is no dispute over the Dokdo Islands, since they have long been a Korean territory historically, geographically and legally.
Due to disputes, new problems arise. The antagonism between South Korea and Japan is a serious headache for the United States. Both states consider Washington their main ally, so the U.S. is trying to maintain neutrality.
Territorial claims also lead to indignation of citizens of disputing states. According to a survey, in the event of a hypothetical conflict between the DPRK and Japan, 45.5 percent of South Koreans said they would support the northerners. Is Japan conducting the right policy if even states with a long conflict history are ready to unite against a common, albeit hypothetical enemy?