politics

IHO OKs proposal that maintains exclusive use of 'Japan Sea' name

39 Comments

The International Hydrographic Organization has tentatively approved a proposal that supports the exclusive use of the name "Japan Sea," or the Sea of Japan, in referring to the waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, the Japanese government said Tuesday.

The proposal by IHO Secretary General Mathias Jonas is expected to be formally adopted by the Monaco-based organization possibly in late November, according to the government.

South Korea has been calling for the adoption of the alternative name "East Sea," claiming the name "Japan Sea" came into use under Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Japan has argued "Japan Sea" is the only internationally established name and there is no need to change it.

The proposal also called for marking sea areas with numbers instead of names in a new digital standard for a world map of oceans.

"In papers, 'Japan Sea' will remain. Our country's claims have been reflected," said Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Separately, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said, "We supported the proposal as one that enhances the convenience of work linked to waterways."

"We hope it will be formally adopted," Kato, the top government spokesman, said at a news conference.

The Limits of Oceans and Seas, an IHO guideline for countries to use as a reference in drawing up ocean maps, has described the area as "Japan Sea" since its first edition in 1928.

The IHO is the governing body for the naming of seas, oceans and navigable waters around the world.

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39 Comments
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This is going to piss off more than just the Korea's! I wonder how much money exchanged hands here, before this decision was made?

-16 ( +14 / -30 )

No! Only Korea is complaining about the name Japan Sea! They are the ones to file this complaint in the first place, do you understand?

Korea, especially the South, would try to change the name of anything that has ''Japan'' in it.

Go try and change the name China Sea, let's see what happens! if your so strong and bold! !

Change the name of Russian waters if your so tough!

Always going after Pacifist Japan.

-No consequences

-No backlash, just like with Dokdo Island which was renamed by Korea after it was taken from a Defeat Japan after WW2.

4 ( +24 / -20 )

This is going to piss off more than just the Korea's! I wonder how much money exchanged hands here, before this decision was made?

You actually, really think Japan bribed the IHO to keep the name?!?! Just unreal....smgdfh2x

6 ( +23 / -17 )

You actually, really think Japan bribed the IHO to keep the name?!?

No idea if it happened, nor do I suggest it did, but why do you feel that it is so inconceivable? After all, IHO is just another corrupt United Nations organization.

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

And there is also the English Channel, which pisses off the French!

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

The French call it La Manche, which is fine in French, but an international move to get it designated the North Channel for example would require a radical change of mental orientation. It's north of France, yes, but not north to anyone else.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

I don't know why this misreporting is being circulated in Japan.

Here are the facts.

1) IHO decided to classify the infamous S-23 version as a historical legacy chart. This version will not be edited and its use will be discontinued.

2) The new official IHO chart is the S-130 version. On this version, "Sea of Japan" is crossed out and it's now officially known as the "18th Sea".

3) The race is on for Korea and Japan to persuade each map vendors to add their own name to the "18th Sea"

-29 ( +0 / -29 )

It seems pretty obvious to me. The sea is CREATED by the presence of Japan. No Japan, it would just be part of the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, it is the Sea of Japan. Ditto the English Channel. No England, no channel.

Maybe the Americans should complain about the Gulf of Mexico next..../s

4 ( +17 / -13 )

You actually, really think Japan bribed the IHO to keep the name?!?! Just unreal....smgdfh2x

Dont know much about how Japan works do you? See all the "World Heritage Sites?"

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

If you don't believe the factual news, read this.

https://www.sankei.com/politics/news/201117/plt2011170014-n1.html

IHOは各国が公式の海図を作製する際、海洋の境界を示すガイドラインとなる「大洋と海の境界」を作製する唯一の機関。総会では、各海域を特定の名称の代わりに固有の数字で表記するデジタル海図の作製についても各国のコンセンサス(総意)を得た。今月末にも採択される。

デジタル海図には「日本海」の呼称は使われないが、茂木氏は「基本的には日本海だけでなく、そういう表記(数字)になる」と語った。

Sea of Japan is gone at IHO and replaced by No. 18.

2. Motegi admits the name "Sea of Japan" is gone from the S-130, but "hopes" that map publishers continue to use the "Sea Of Japan" name.

Of course "hope" doesn't mean "will", especially against intense Korean lobbying and 40% of world's map makers already put "East Sea" on the map.

This outcome is exactly what Korea wanted, "Sea of Japan" is no longer official at IHO.
-2 ( +14 / -16 )

@Yubaru

Dont know much about how Japan works do you? See all the "World Heritage Sites?"

Must have been outbribed by Korea since the outcome is exactly what Korea wanted all along; IHO removed "Sea Of Japan" from S-130 and it's now officially referred as "18th Sea" at IHO.

Of course "Sea of Japan" name is still there on the S-23, along with hundreds of other old maps no longer in use. This is what the Japanese government was bragging about, defending "Sea of Japan" name on a historically obsolete map no longer current and is being phased out, while Korea managed to delete "Sea of Japan" on the new map(S-130) that's coming out.

-25 ( +0 / -25 )

"In papers, 'Japan Sea' will remain.

Yes, but NOT on digital maps. This is how Motegi has failed Japan.

The proposal also called for marking sea areas with numbers instead of names in a new digital standard for a world map of oceans.

I know Japan likes things on paper even today, but the rest of world is going fully digital.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

South Korea has been calling for the adoption of the alternative name "East Sea," claiming the name "Japan Sea" came into use under Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Korean officials have agreed to the latest IHO proposal. "East Sea", a Korean fabrication, now disappears officially and completely while Sea of Japan will continue to remain intact (alongside the numerical info or the 18th.... but who cares? :))

3 ( +16 / -13 )

@noriahojanen

Korean officials have agreed to the latest IHO proposal.

Yes, Koreans agreed to keep "Sea of Japan" name on S-23 printed map which is being phased out and becoming museum pieces and library archives.

In return, Motegi agreed to delete "Sea of Japan" name on S-130 digital map which will be used on Google Maps and actual modern ship navigation charts. Most ships nowadays use digital maps, you know.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

@noriahojapan

while Sea of Japan will continue to remain intact

Nope. Gone.

The proposal also called for marking sea areas with numbers instead of names in a new digital standard for a world map of oceans.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

There would be no sea to call if Japan wasn't there. Maybe Korea should focus on trying to change the name of Yellow Sea to Sea of Korea. Makes more sense.

2 ( +16 / -14 )

@Tom

Maybe Korea should focus on trying to change the name of Yellow Sea to Sea of Korea. Makes more sense.

Korea is fine with a neutral name like the Yellow Sea. Korea once offered the name "Blue Sea" to Japan as a compromise and Japan refused.

So we now end up with the official IHO name "18th Sea" instead. Should have taken the Blue Sea compromise and save a lot of headache sooner.

Now it is upto each government to persuade each map publisher to add "East Sea" and "Sea of Japan" in their commercial maps, because map publishers have no obligation to put anything other than "18th" on the water between Japan and Korea.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

We all, if we were attending a school, have learned it as Japan sea from the maps and atlases. By the way, ‘East Sea’ would be very much confusing for many people as it is already in use to a certain degree. We German speaking people call the Baltic Sea the ‘Ostsee’ what would be in English that ‘East Sea’ if translated directly , disregarding the geographical place or use of the word ‘Baltic’ in many other languages.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

There's a difficult problem involved in the nomenclature of place names, especially when international relations are involved. But I think tradition and custom must play out here. The Koreans have traditionally called the waters east of them “East Sea”, which the Japanese have called “the Sea of Japan” probably since the Meiji Restoration. Before then, there was no Japanese name for the sea west of Japan; neither for the Pacific Ocean. To the Japanese, the east sea is the Pacific Ocean as a verse in a WW II military song indicates.

Japan refers to the U.S.A. literally as "Rice Country" or "the United States of Rice Country". Should U.S. citizens piss off to hear it and demand it be called "Beautiful Country" as in Chinese?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

What ever happened to the American proposal to rename the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea the American Sea?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Samit BasuToday  11:42 am JST

@Tom

Korea is fine with a neutral name like the Yellow Sea. Korea once offered the name "Blue Sea" to Japan as a compromise and Japan refused.

So we now end up with the official IHO name "18th Sea" instead. Should have taken the Blue Sea compromise and save a lot of headache sooner.

Now it is upto each government to persuade each map publisher to add "East Sea" and "Sea of Japan" in their commercial maps, because map publishers have no obligation to put anything other than "18th" on the water between Japan and Korea.

You know that Korea is fine with a neutral name so long as it does not have Japan in it. I'm pretty damn sure Korea would never change the name to a neutral one had it been named Sea of Korea to begin with.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Korea is fine with a neutral name like the Yellow Sea. Korea once offered the name "Blue Sea" to Japan as a compromise and Japan refused.

Korea uses "West Sea (서해)" domestically in reference to Yellow Sea. But they never promote it internationally conflicting with China, Japan or other parties. That shows exactly how South Korea is hypocrite, driven solely by irrational anti-Japanese sentiment. They may be satisfied with whatever name or number unless it is called Sea of Japan.

Korea's name-far attempt is also highly pathetic and unsuccessful. Nobody outside Korea will try to get acquainted with or care about the numeric name or 18th sea. Or how many people are able to locate the other 1-17th seas?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I can't understand why IHO is considering the allegation of Korea. Every country except Korea uses the name of Japan Sea.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

And there is also the English Channel, which pisses off the French!

Mind you, no one in England complains about the Irish Sea.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

no one in England complains about the Irish Sea

Because if the Irish Sea wasn't there all the Irish would be Welsh.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Japan Sea

It's not call Japan Sea in English.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

South Korea? What Japan-SKorea Sea of Japan contretemps are you guys talking about?

This is a fait accompli for 99% of the world's population that is not Korean. For us in Africa, we've always known it as the Sea of Japan, full stop!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

"In papers, 'Japan Sea' will remain. Our country's claims have been reflected," said Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Separately, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said, "We supported the proposal as one that enhances the convenience of work linked to waterways."

"We hope it will be formally adopted," Kato, the top government spokesman, said at a news conference.

Good to see this matter of such pressing concern to the populace is being attended to by our wise leaders.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Look. Here’s the scoop. It will no longer be called Japan Sea or Sea to Japan. But for a laugh to annoy the Koreans one more time, they are pretending it will be. Then sitting back with some popcorn.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This conflict is so stupid since the Koreans will never protest for calling the Yellow Sea the “West Sea” as they have called it for 5000 years or whatever length of fantasy history they have.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

YubaruToday  07:45 am JST

This is going to piss off more than just the Korea's! I wonder how much money exchanged hands here, before this decision was made?

No, it will not. Only the Koreans call it "East Sea" a name which only makes any sense to someone standing on the Korean peninsula. The nations surrounding it, Russia and China call it the Sea of Japan/Japan Sea. For the Chinese the name "East Sea" refers to the East China Sea. The name "Sea of Japan" was not even created by Japan. To them, it would have been the "West Sea".

The name can be traced to a map - the Kunyu Wanguo Quantu, a map printed in China at the request of the Wanli Emperor during 1602 by the Italian Catholic missionary Matteo Ricci and Chinese collaborators, Mandarin Zhong Wentao and the technical translator, Li Zhizao. It is the earliest known Chinese world map with the style of European maps.

The persistent attempt to change the centuries long globally accepted name Sea of Japan/Japan Sea by South Korea exposes, in addition to their self centered nature in advancing a name that makes no sense to anyone else on this planet, but the extent of the the complex and antipathy towards Japan where pursuing such a pointless agenda is considered a victory. As others have pointed out, Americans aren't trying to change the Gulf of Mexico, or the French he English Channel.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Russia makes no name claim for it even though its borders are on it?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

FYI:

In China, "America" is written by Chinese characters as 美利堅 in so-called phonetic translation which disregards the meaning of each character. In Japan, on the other hand, it is written in Chinese characters as 亜米利加, also disregarding the meaning of each character.

The Chinese used the initial character美as a sort of acronym for the country called "(the United States of) America" whereas the Japanese used the second character for the same purpose. But since Chinese characters have meanings each, 美国as called by the Chinese can be translated as "beautiful country" whereas 米国in Japanese can be translated as "rice country".

Why didn't the Japanese use the initial character of 亜米利加to represent "America"? But 亜国had already been used to refer to Argentina.

The people of the Republic of Korea, or South Korea, use 美国 "beautiful country" for the U.S. when they write the country's name in Chinese characters, which they seem to have loaned from Chinese.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What IHO does is to issue guidelines for the nautical charts and technically does not dictate the names for the bodies of water.

yes people will refer to the “numbers” in S-130, but will remain to refer to S-23 when they need the names.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@Voice, I read somewhere that the Chinese first referred to Britain as 米国 because the Union Jack looked like 米 the character for rice. The character was thus already taken, so they then named America 美国.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Samit Basu

No one is going to call the sea as No.18 just because S-130 says so, because IHO doesn’t dictate the names. People are going to refer to S-23 because there are no other contenders for the naming standards. At best we can say IHO stepped down from the naming conflict, and Korea failed to plug East Sea into some kind of a monolith.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Samt Basu

North Sea is located in the north/northwest of all neighboring countries except for Norway. But the etymology of Norway comes from north, so it’s not an issue for them. Even for Denmark which sometimes uses the term West Sea, has no large body of water in their north.

There’s too many East Seas in the Eastern Asian region, it’s located in northwest of Japan, and south of Russia so it will never work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@NickK

People are going to refer to S-23

Nope. The S-23's status is that of a "legacy" chart. You do know what "legacy" means.

there are no other contenders for the naming standards. 

There are actually two contenders, "East Sea" and "Sea of Japan", and each chart publisher is free to add names other than mandatory "18" marking.

The whole basis for Japan's claims of "Sea of Japan" being the only IHO approved sea name has ended and "Sea of Japan" and "East Sea" are on equal standing, and which one gets marked on chart depends on each country's lobbying ability.

This is what Motegi has given away.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@S,

there are no other contenders to S-23 as in the reference of the naming of the bodies of waters. Yes you are free to add names other than 18 and call it “Korea’s nuclear dumping ground” or whatever but most publishers would still refer to the monolithic legacy for the historic reference and have 18=Sea of Japan.

IHO’s mission isn’t about giving names to waters anyways. The UN is also in the position of using the de facto name.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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