Name of Sea between Korea and Japan is in dispute:
1. EAST SEA was used by Koreans more than 2,000 years. Korean National Anthem starts with EAST SEA.
2. EAST SEA was marked as Sea of Japan in the World Map at IHO Meeting in 1929. Korea was occupied by Japanese Military Force and could not raise a voice.
3. In 1974 & 1977, Both IHO & UNCSGN Recommended Concurrent Usage of EAST SEA and Sea of Japan.
4. UN Resolution said “A policy of accepting only one or some of such names while excluding the rest would be inconsistent as well as inexpedient in practice.”
5. In 2014, Virginia passed a Legislation to have all publishers to update the textbooks to have both names.
US is urged to change its policy to recognize both names & pass East Sea/Sea of Japan amendment at IHO Meeting on April 24, 2017.
Response to Petition
A response to your petition
Thank you for voicing your concern regarding the official nomenclature used by the United States related to the body of water between the Republic of Korea and Japan.
The Federal Government uses the names of geographic locations determined by the United States Board on Geographic Names (the Board). As a matter of longstanding policy and practice, the Board uses only one official name to refer to each sea or ocean. This is known as the conventional name.
The Board’s designated conventional name for the body of water referenced by your petition is Sea of Japan. The Republic of Korea calls this body of water Dong-hae, which is listed as a variant name in the Board’s database along with other locally-used names. The Federal Government will continue using the Sea of Japan, so long as it is the Board’s designated conventional name for that body of water.
In the spirit of international cooperation, we hope that Japan and the Republic of Korea will continue to work together to reach a mutually agreeable solution to this nomenclature disagreement.