Seoul wants ‘Sea of Japan’ to be re-labelled on maps

July 16th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, July 16 (RIA Novosti) South Korea is planning to ask Russia to order a re-labelling of Russian maps replacing the name ‘Sea of Japan’ with ‘East Sea’, a Korean diplomatic source said here Wednesday. The sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan is the focus of a territorial dispute over Japan’s claim to a group of islets controlled by South Korea and known in Korean as Dokdo. On Tuesday South Korea recalled its ambassador from Tokyo after Japan restated its claim.

South Korea says the name ‘Sea of Japan’, now used by most countries, is a legacy of Japanese imperialism and the 1910-1945 occupation of Korea, and that the term “East Sea” has historically been used by Korea.

The source said maps produced in Russia and other countries had labelled the sea as ‘Korean sea’ until the 19th century.

“We do not want the name of the sea to be associated with any particular country, which is why we propose that it be called East Sea as has been in Korea. This would satisfy both the Korea and Japan,” the source said.

The source said that the UN earlier made the same recommendation to both countries. In response to South Korea’s objections, most English-language media now include the Korean version in parenthesis when mentioning the sea.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is expected to visit Russia in late September.
RIA Novosti

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