Dokdo & East Sea
Japan’s Claims and ROK’s Beliefs
Feb 02, 2012
The term Sea of Japan is widely recognized by the international community and some 95 percent of world maps have adopted that name. Changing the name of the sea could cause unnecessary confusion.
The name Sea of Japan was established during the late 18th to early 19th century by the Western world. The issue is irrelevant to the Japanese colonial rule.
The name Sea of Japan came from geographical features of the area. Since the Japanese archipelago separates this sea from the Pacific Ocean, the waters in question are rightly called the Sea of Japan and the term does not imply that Japan holds any claim on the sea.
ROK's Beliefs & Efforts
The Korean government's ultimate goal is to persuade the international community to recognize the name East Sea as the official, historically proper English nomenclature for the sea area in question. East Sea identifies it as the sea to the east of the Eurasian continent, not only the Korean Peninsula, and such naming has long been accepted worldwide.
At the moment, however, there are some situations where the use of only the name East Sea on its own is not feasible. In those situations, the Korean government supports the concurrent use of both names in accordance with applicable international standardization rules.
The Korean government has made steady efforts to raise international awareness on this issue and push for negotiations, while taking the long-term view.
Over the last decade, the government's efforts to restore the historically proper name have begun to yield some encouraging results: more and more mapmakers and publishers worldwide are identifying the sea concurrently as East Sea / Sea of Japan.
Department Global Communication and Contents Division