The Korean Federation of Teachers’ Association (KFTA) held a celebration ceremony to declare October 25 as 'Dokdo Day' at 10:30 a.m. on October 25 at Heuk Seok Elementary School. It is when Emperor Gojong of the Greater Korean Empire legislated Edict No.41 on the sovereignty of Dokdo, the disputed islets between Korea and Japan, 110 years ago in 1900.
Courses on Dokdo were held in four schools including Heuk Seok Elementary School in Seoul during the Dokdo week (from October 21 to 27) before and after Dokdo Day. The Dokdo Quiz Show was also held with the participation of 1,057 elementary, middle and high school students. The special open course curriculum and video clips on courses were provided to teachers on the KFTA's website.
The ceremony to designate and declare the Dokdo Day was co-organized by 16 federations of teachers' associations nationwide, Korea Youth Association, the Red Cross Youth, the Society of Korean Poets, the Korean History Education Society and the Dokdo Institute, and co-sponsored by 19 organizations including the Advisory on Democratic Peaceful Unification, The event gained huge attraction from netizens as well as the media at home and abroad.
These organizations including the KFTA designated and declared the Dokdo Day to clearly announce at home and abroad that Dokdo is a precious territory of Korea and to imbue proper awareness about the history and love for the country since the Korean government fails to respond actively despite Japan's consistent efforts to incorporate the islets under its territory.
Ahn Yang-ok, the president of KFTA, said in his greetings, "With the declaration of the Dokdo Day, I hope that all Koreans including students could have proper understanding and territorial awareness about Dokdo, confidently reveal its rationale as Korea's exclusive territory based on clear logics and grounds, and pave the way for all Koreans to share the precious value of the national territory and the nation as a whole."
President Shin Yong-ha of the Dokso Society pointed out, "That the Japanese government started to teach Dokdo as its territory in its elementary school textbooks proves that it would apply its diplomacy and education policies on invasion, a legacy of the imperialism." He emphasized, "That the Dokdo Day was declared by teachers' associations is significant, so the efforts must not stop here but support the government's will to protect it."
Chairman Hwang Woo-yea of Korea Youth Association said, "I express my gratitude and encouragement to the KFTA for making such challenging decisions," adding, "I promise to extend further efforts to carry out the 'Dokdo Love' campaign led by youths and ensure that the National Assembly and the government devise various related policies and legislate and declare the Dokdo Day."
President Lee Geun-cheong of the Society of Korean Poets said in his encouragement remark, "All Korean poets sing songs of Dokdo with passionate love for the country and patriotism since Dokdo is a sign of love for the national territory." His one-line poem that went, "Break one rock in Dokdo, and the blood of Koreans will flow from it," garnered a great applause from the attendees.
President Lee Du-hyeong of the Korean History Education Society and a teacher named Kim Mi-hwa said in their co-recited statement, "The KFTA declares the Dokdo Day to imbue a historical awareness to 500,000 teachers and Korean people nationwide."