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Asia-Watch on Sea of Japan

July 18th, 2006 . by Matt

Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan

Asia-Watch has reported on a Korean newspaper article that pretty much sums up the Korean case for opposition to calling the Sea of Japan the Sea of Japan. In short, Koreans want the sea that Japan separates from the Pacific Ocean to be called anything but the Sea of Japan, without insisting on calling the sea the East Sea, or the Korean Sea.

Asia-Watch sums it up well, writing –

While the artitcle may appear reasonable, it is not. The only country in the world that has a problem with the name “Sea of Japan” are Koreans. It has already been clearly proven that widespread international usage of that name predates Japanese imperialism and has nothing to do with Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea. Korea’s campaign to force a name change is entirely by hatred of seeing Japan’s name on a map, and no reasonable country should be forced to change their maps because Koreans don’t like the Japanese. The only acceptable solution to this issue is for Koreans to stop their ridiculous campaign to force foreign countries to stop calling the “Sea of Japan” by its internationally recognized name.

That hits the nail on the head. The whole naming ‘issue’ about the Sea of Japan is more about Japan bashing by Korea than anything else. Fortunately, most people overseas have the good sense to see through this nonsense.

5 Responses to “Asia-Watch on Sea of Japan”

  1. comment number 1 by: sqz

    The Yellow Sea is Korea’s sea to the west and China’s sea to the east, but everyone calls it the Yellow Sea and that is the name that is internationally recognized. We need a name like “Yellow Sea” for the body of water between Korea and Japan.

    中国人はそれを「東海」と呼ぶし、韓国人は「南海」と呼ぶのに、それ以外のすべての国では「East China Sea」と呼ぶのですから。
    They forget “東支那海(East China Sea)”.
    Chinese people call it “東海(East Sea)”.
    And Korean people call it “南海(South Sea)”.
    But people of other all countries call it “East China Sea”.

    A number of Korean scholars once suggested the neutral “Blue Sea,” a name they came up with based on historical documentation and the characteristics of the body of water.

    “East Sea”, “Sea of Korea” and “Blue Sea”.
    Which name do they want to call it?

  2. comment number 2 by: James

    Korea doesn’t have a problem with the ‘East China Sea’ name being used internationally because they don’t hate Chinese people.

  3. comment number 3 by: tomato

    The Japanese Police Agency concludes that the export of drugs to Japan was conducted according to North Korean governmental orders:


    You know, both Koreas are really messing us up….invasion of Takeshima, renaming Sea of Japan and all other anti-Japanese “terrorist” acts I would like to call, Narcotics, Missiles…

  4. comment number 4 by: john

    I went to an International Conference held in Washington over the renaming of that body of water. I couldn’t see how much it meant to Korea yet I have a 300 page book of the conference translated in five langugages.

  5. comment number 5 by: pacifist

    BTW, it has been said that viewed from Korean side, Japan seems as 心, a chinese character with a meaning of “Heart”.
    (The left dot is Hokkaido, the curved line in the middle is mainland and two dots representing Shikoku and Kyusyu.)

    Did you see Japanese heart?