> East Sea > Why “East Sea”

1. Why Is “the Sea of Japan” Widely Used Internationally?
- Japan emerged as the major superpower of Asia in the late 19thcenturywhentheworldmapweusetodayhadnotbeenproduced.
- The first conference of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) held in London in 1919 agreed to set the boundaries of the
  oceans and the seas around the world and decided the proper names of the respective territories in order to help
  guarantee the safety of navigation.
- Being under the Japanese colonial period at the time, Korea could not send its delegation to the conference.
  Only Japan participated in the meeting.
- Based on the agreement of the conference, “East Sea” was officially registered as “the Sea of Japan” in 1923.
- Based on the agreement, “Limits of Oceans and Seas” was first published in 1929.
- From that time on, the cartographers of the whole world haveused the name of the oceans and the seas based on
  “Limits of Oceans and Seas.”
2. Justification for the Use of the Name “East Sea”
The historically justifiable fact: The name of “East Sea” has been used
   for more than 2,000 years
- The name of “East Sea” also appears in the “Sage King Dongmyeong” in the first volume of Book 13 “A Story of Goguryeo”
  in History of the Three Kingdoms (三國史記, Samguk sagi), a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla.
- This shows that the name of “East Sea” had been used since 50 B.C. in the Korean Peninsula.
- The existence of the name “East Sea” was recorded on the Stele of King Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo
  which stands near the tomb of King Gwanggaeto erected in 414 by his son, King Jangsu of Goguryeo. Considering
  the territory of the Goguryeo Kingdom reached Liaodong Peninsula in the west and the southern
  Manchuria in the northeast, “East Sea” refers to the eastern sea of not only the Korean Peninsula but also the Eurasian continent.
- The country name of “Japan” in “the Sea of Japan” began to be used in the 8thcentury,700yearsafteroftheuseof“EastSea.”
- The name of “the Sea of Japan,” meanwhile, was mentioned for the first time in A Map of the Myriad Countries of the World
  (Mappamondo) – produced in 1602 by the Italian Catholic missionary Matteo Ricci.
The Use the Name “East Sea” in History
The geographical characteristic of the waters of East Sea
- “East Sea” is currently bordered by South Korea, North Korea, Japan and Russia.
- It, therefore, is unreasonable that the name of the sea follows the name of a particular nation.
- In principle, it is necessary to find a suitable name that is agreed by all the concerned nations.
The principle of deciding territorial names
- Territorial names should be decided based on the name being used by the residents of the concerned regions.
- n case that the concerned nations cannot agree on one name, the joint use of the names used by the related nations is preferred.
Major Problems Found in the Japanese Opinions
Does Historicity Exist in the Name of “the Sea of Japan”?
The Opinion of Japan:
“The Sea of Japan” has been established internationally during the past 100 years.
The Opinion of South Korea:
① Historically, “East Sea” has been used by Koreans for more than 2,000 years.
② Inthe 19thcentury,there gion of the water swascalled not only “the Sea of Japan” butalso “the Sea of Korea (Hanguk-hae),”
“the Sea of Joseon(Joseon-hae)” or “the Sea of the East (Dongyang-hae).”
Therefore,it is difficult tomaintainthat the name of “the Sea of Japan” was firmly established according to the international law.
Does the Decision Fully Reflect the Opinions of the Residents?
The Opinion of Japan:
“The change of the name is feared to result in unnecessary confusion in the present stage.”
The Opinion of South Korea:
① The name of “East Sea” is used by more than 70 million population of South and North Korea.
② The use of “the Sea of Japan” runs counter to the international principle of cartography that the territorial name should be decided
according to the name being used by the residents of the concerned regions.
Is “the Sea of Japan” Internationally Established?
The Opinion of Japan:
The name “the Sea of Japan” was established between the late 18th century and theearly 19th century by the West. It is not trueth at Japan force fully used thename in theearly 20th century.
The Opinion of South Korea:
① No decision was made between the 18th and the19th century with regard to the name of
“the Sea of Japan” by an authoritative organization that candecide the internationally standard territorial names.
Therefore,it is unreasonable that “theSeaofJapan” is aninternationally established name of the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
② A majority of the maps produced during the period did not mention the name of the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan,
which shows that there had been no internationally established name of the waters in the area.
③ The use of various names of the “East Sea” waters in the old maps having been handed down to the present times shows
that a particular name cannot be solely justifiable.