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Virginia becomes hotbed of diplomacy over Sea of Japan name

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Good luck with this, South Korea

-19 ( +8 / -27 )

Seas are named by the body that creates them, which is clearly Japan. This is one territorial issue that 30 seconds and a modicum of common sense can settle.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

Next thing you know people are going to be suggesting changing Japan's name to East Korea.

18 ( +23 / -4 )

Seas are named by the body that creates them, which is clearly Japan.

Thank you. I am happy to know that I am not the only person that realizes this. Q: What happens to the Sea of Japan if you take away the Japanese archipelago? A: It becomes a part of the Pacific Ocean.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

This has no validity at all. South Korea should appeal to the global community and the ICJ if they believe their "allegation" is really correct. The U.S. government names it the "Sea of Japan". It will never be named the East Sea.

19 ( +20 / -2 )

“Sea of Japan” was already in common usage in the world in the early 19th century, when the country had an isolationist policy,"

Gee, well THAT's a good reason! especially vs. the 2000 + years Korea has been using "East Sea".

“I think the Japanese government has kind of overreacted to this. This is not that big of a deal,” the Democratic lawmaker said."

Exactly. It's always amusing to watch Japanese lawmakers try and fob off the politics that work here in other nation, and see them fall flat on their faces; be it protesting sex-slave statues or demanding this more recent textbook content. Hahahaha...

-28 ( +6 / -34 )

Ridiculous. That's like British expats in Argentina demanding that "Islas Malvinas" be replaced in Argentinian books with "The Falkland Islands".

11 ( +14 / -3 )

As far as I know the name "Sea of Japan" is more popular, and most countries recognize this local as Sea of Japan.

Eastern Sea is a Korean name for this sea, but it is not an official name.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Did you ever notice how Korea does NOT protest against the names East China Sea and Yellow Sea?

16 ( +19 / -3 )

How can it be called the eastern sea its not east at all it is quite clearly west form where I sit here in Tokyo.

Korean is a whinny little child at times its amusing to watch this little child brat whinge and cry. No one cares korea OKAY !

16 ( +19 / -4 )

Neutral English speakers should come up with our own name to avoid favouring one side or the other.

How about "The Worse Things Happen at Sea"?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

When I hear about the Japanese government trying to keep the name ‘Sea of Japan’ only, it brings old memories back and we say: ‘hey, maybe they are trying to extend their history of military expansionism.

This isn't about the Japanese government, it's about the State of Virginia deciding what is appropriate for it's own text books. To say it is Japan 'extending their history of military expansionism' is just plain absurd. It's a complete nonsense.

And then there is the salient point that Nessie and DaveALLTogether have made.

It's completely unbecoming.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

The Koreans are doing a very smart thing here. If somehow they get an upper hand on this and US for some reasons recognizes Sea of Japan as East Sea, then by virtue of influence, the official name will most likely be renamed as East Sea just because US says so.

Clearly the Koreans knew how to play the game politically. I don't see Japanese American standing up for Japan in any organized way. Which says alot about the Japanese in America or Japanese Americans.

And for the people here says no one cares, well, you are commenting here about this subject matter so... at the very least, you cared enough to opine.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Korean is a whinny little child at times its amusing to watch this little child brat whinge and cry. No one cares korea OKAY !

@StormR - Really? Because you seem to post A LOT about Korea.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

I hope Korea and Japan find a mutually satisfactory name

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Leave it to weak-spined politicians to weigh the number of potential votes and then choose the largest group's claim as "legitimate." Let's see....more Korean-American than Japanese-American voters in Virginia? Ah, the Koreans must be right! Smh!

By the way, Koreans: perhaps we should change the name "Korean Strait" (also presently recognized by the United Nations and International Hydrographic Organization) to something less Korean-centric? Oh what? You don't like that idea, huh? Well then...pot, please meet kettle!

19 ( +20 / -1 )

I am a little surprised that the Japanese government would try to influence content of textbooks in another country, given the way it reacts when other governments raise issues with Japanese textbook content.

If the Japanese government wants its lobbying in the U.S. to be taken seriously with respect to dictating textbook content, then it should likewise show a positive attitude toward lobbying efforts of foreign governments with respect to content of textbooks in Japan.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Seas are named by the body that creates them, which is clearly Japan.

Really? Since when? Who says? The sea between Australia and NZ is the Tasman sea. Why not create a new name that both can be happy with? Why not just include both names? What's the harm in that? Shouldn't we work to have all parties happy? Not just one.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

We are not politicians; we are citizens, we are moms and dads, Kim said

Citizens of where? If Korea, they have no business petitioning a US state to change its textbooks. If USA, they have no business getting involved in political disputes of foreign countries.

Things like this make me question where the loyalties of such "hyphenated" Americans lie. If it were a cultural issue, maybe; but this is a political issue. Korean- and Chinese-Americans seem to be using the USA as a venue to front the political interests of countries they never were or are no longer citizens of in there never-ending grudge against Japan.

And then there are the micro-managing politicians. Will their decision benefit students if the state can't use the best textbook if it only uses the official internationally recognized name for some insignificant body of water on the other side of the world?

18 ( +19 / -1 )

No country can pressure other country to change a name of something that it isn't under it's administartion. But it seems like you can buy a part of geography in the USA... I'm waiting for changing the name of Baltic Sea to East Sea as that's what it's called Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and put the name West Sea as that's how Estonians call it! Why Europeans have so much common sense unlike a certain countries on certain peninsula?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Had he been living today, Jonathan Swift would have had a good time writing about this topic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pathetic that Korea has such an inferiority complex that it makes this move. Even more pathetic that Japan has picked up the gauntlet. One might have expected they would just fall back on their "There is no dispute" mantra.

I propose we rename it the Cry Baby Sea in honor of this childish spat.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan needs to make it VERY clear to the Americans that this will not be tolerated.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Noisy idiot neighbors.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Q: What happens to the Sea of Japan if you take away the Japanese archipelago?

In a similar vein, what happens to the Sea of JapanEast Sea when you remove the Korean Peninsula? It becomes the East China Sea.

Learning when to let sleeping dogs lie is something the Japanese government really needs to bone up on.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I do not buy the idea of Seas are named by body created them. If Japan archipelago submerged under Sea due to volcanic chain eruption, there is no point for calling Japan sea anymore. Creator is no longer existed on the sea. It has been entombed because of tectonic plate violent movement.Creator life span is limited unlike Pacific Ocean. It is also true for East Sea. If there are no more Asia and Japan, there will be no East and West.

It is also true for East China Sea and South China Sea. As far as China still existed on Sea, the name will be valid. If it is not, the name should be changed like Pacific 1, Pacific 2, Pacific 3 etc.. Nothing last forever. However Ocean will last a lot longer than land. Land can not defeat the Ocean. Ocean can sink the land.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

I love Japan and the Japanese. And I believe most of us here do so. But changing history books is something the Japanese Governement started to do and still continue to do so. Same for denying to have enslaved thousends of woman during the war. The only right word is "sex-slaves", not "comfort woman". By doing so, they provoke the actions that Korean people take now... So don't complain for getting hitted back, you started it !

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

well no one protests against the friends in china right? with the centuries old historical boundaries now becoming the big reason to push forward.

so once all the other countries in the area are suppressed by China - will South Korea really feel it will be ok by itself so close to North Korea and China alone?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Its sad how they want to destroy identity of Japan , one of the most important part of Japan history was Mongol invasion and their destruction from typhoons Kamikaze ( divine wind), , and that invasion was over the Sea of Japan, where two typhoons helped Japan from Mongol invasion forces, so, Sea of Japan was one of the best protection Japan had from invading countries . And that part of history even we at west are learning , so, how then to write Mongols invasion on Japan, " they came from the East Sea and attacked Japan " ?

The other thing is that majority of territorial waters in that sea are in hands of Japan . The rest is in hands of Korea and Russia, so, how Russian calls that sea ?Yaponskoe More( it should be writen on chirilic , but font in Japan today dont support it , it seams ) ( Japansko more , Sea of Japan ) . And we need to thanks Russia for spreading that name in the world . Why Russia, who was in conflict with Japan several times, didnt changed the name ? It seams Russian has more honesty than you Koreans.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Statues of honor for "comfort women" (who sell or give their body, and who are brutally victimized by men) should be taken down. I'm glad though that people should care how they are represented in the world. Maybe it will improve their behavior for real.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

More shameful posturing on behalf of ROK. Grow the **** up.

No one in America is interested in your petty historical grudges. Keep your dirty laundry in your own damn country. Leave the rest of us out of it. Oh, and we aren't interested in erecting monuments to your suffering either so save that plea for someone who cares.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

homeland

Japan needs to make it VERY clear to the Americans that this will not be tolerated.

how, exactly? america can just use the standard japanese government response, "it's an internal matter".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Pacific: West Ocean. Atlantic: East Ocean. Indian: Other-side-of-the-Planet Ocean. Who do I talk to about this?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nessie: "Seas are named by the body that creates them, which is clearly Japan."

Or, clearly Korea, depending on which direction you're coming from, lol.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What a storm in a teacup... The Koreans can call it whatever they want, in Korean. In Japanese it's Nihonkai, and In English it's known as the Sea of Japan. Plenty of places have different names depending on what language you are speaking.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

In fact I will vote for the removal of all national names attached to "sea". So there will be no more South China sea ,or East China sea. There isn't " American sea" even its still the most powerful country. But to some greedy country the name can make it think that the sea belong to them, so to speak.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hey, as long as it doesn't become part of the China Seas, I think both South Korea and Japan should be happy to settle with a neutral name like the East Sea.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I doubt either ROK or Japan really care about Virginia textbooks, it's just another way to have at each other. PS, let's hope the Brits & the Argies don't start to worry about whether certain islands are called the Falklands or the Malvinas. (personally, I figure they are the Falklands since the Brits won that last argument anyway)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Boy, the Koreans are really a bunch of insufferable whiners! If you removed the Japanese archipelago, then the body of water would simply be part of the Pacific Ocean, so the name "Sea of Japan" is more than fitting.

ALSO, Japan has more miles/kilometers of coastline bounding the ocean than Korea does, so again, the name fits.

I for one am SICK AND TIRED of Koreans complaining about how we view things Japanese in our schools, and putting up monuments to "Comfort Women" prostitutes. I was also raised that it is extremely impolite to drag other people into petty disagreements, and that it was also "girly" to do so.

The new Governor of Virginia should tell the Koreans that he and his state legislators ALONE will decide what it right for Virginia's students.

And for Peter Kim - Are you an American citizen now? If so, give America your FULL allegiance or pack you and your family up and go back to Korea. Don't bring your baggage with you and inject it into our political landscape because we neither want or need it.

His statement:

We are not politicians; we are citizens, we are moms and dads,Kim said. When I hear about the Japanese government trying to keep the name Sea of Japan only, it brings old memories back and we say: hey, maybe they are trying to extend their history of military expansionism.

And? What does Japanese Militarism have to do with Virginia schoolchildren?

His statement is disingenuous because he is DEFINITELY trying to play politician/lobbyist here to serve his own group's special interest. Last time I checked, you were pretty safe from Japanese militarism from your nice little neighborhood in the N. Virginia suburbs. The "old memories" you whine about should be left in Korea. Nobody invited you here, especially along with your baggage and anti-Japan (an American ally) hatred.

Japanese-Americans seem to integrate well because they have couth and manners. I can't say the same for the other group in this dispute.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

This goes to show the world that with enough money you can have everything YOUR way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hey, as long as it doesn't become part of the China Seas, I think both South Korea and Japan should be happy to settle with a neutral name like the East Sea.

So why not call it the West Sea? East Sea is completely Korea-centric and is anything but neutral. In fact, it makes the Korean argument for renaming it fall flat on its face.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

“The Korean people have used the name for more than 2,000 years and even the Korean national anthem starts off with the East Sea,” Kim said."

That's nice.im should move back to Korea and he can be happy. Has it occurred to Kim or any other KA-activist that the rest of us can pretty much figure out where the "Sea of Japan" is on he planet but that the "East Sea" means absolutely nothing except to the people who use it. From the United States the Sea of Japan is the "West Sea". This is an example of Koreans unable to think from outside their own point of view and oblivious to others. Like Children, Koreans think that "Sea of Japan" means it belongs to Japan which obviously is wrong otherwise the Mexicans would consider the Gulf of Mexico to be theirs. I am so sick of alleged "Korean-Americans" bringing their inferiority complex driven nonsense to the United States. Keep it in South Korea or get the f out of this country.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

How about "Sea of Peace"

On 18 November 2006, during the APEC summit in Hanoi, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun informally proposed to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe that the sea be called instead the “Sea of Peace” or "Sea of Friendship," which Abe rejected. In January 2007 Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki opposed the idea saying there was "No need to change name of Sea of Japan".[54]

What an incredibly noble gesture of friendship slapped by the conservative/revisionist Japanese leaders. Such a missed opportunities to show solidarity.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

wait, so Japan is trying to influence another country? Not hypocritical at all

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

From the article: “Sea of Japan” was the only name recognized by the United Nations and the International Hydrographic Organization.

Why anyone should care that American students in one State have 'East Sea' or 'Sea of Japan' in text books that ninety percent cannot find on a map is perplexing. Horrified? How horrified? Maybe there are more important matters?

These 'stick in the eye' disputes have no end. They serve the wealthy industrialists who will educate their children at Harvard and die wealthy beyond imagination of natural causes in blissful sleep.

How many should die for the name of a sea? As many as it takes to make an ungodly profit from death.

If Korea wishes to pursue the matter it must be resolved at the United Nations and the International Hydrographic Organization Offices of Correct Map Making Names and Parentheses Notations In The Department Of Asterisks.

One would imagine there are more important things for people to be concerned with than petitioning the UN and HO on name changes but that is, and should be an absolute right.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I have a novel idea: let South Korea call it East Sea, let Japan call it the Sea of Japan, and let Virginia begin to focus more on the fact that their graduating high school students occupy the 35th percentile among the industrialized nations of the world (far below either Japan or South Korea).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What does South Korea have to gain by attempting to change the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea? Do they think that it will become their territorial waters? Anyone have an answer?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

For better or for worse, this is ethnic politics in America. The pattern has been the same for more than a century--immigrants move in, settle down, obtain citizenship and voting rights, and then begin pressuring lawmakers on their preferred issues. What the gov't of Japan is facing now with large, passionate, mobilized Korean immigrant communities in the USA is similar in some ways to what the gov't of Britain faced a century ago with large, passionate, mobilized Irish immigrant communities in the USA. The mayor of Chicago, in circa 1916, even went so far as to say that he would punch the King of England in the nose if he ever visited the Windy City. At least give Korean-American politicians credit for not threatening Emperor Akihito with a bloody nose should he ever visit the United States.

So it's a tough issue for Japan. What can Tokyo do, try to influence votes in sub-national state legislatures in another country? Most ethnic Koreans in the USA are citizens. It's not like Japan, where 3rd or 4th generation resident ethnic Koreans are still "foreigners" for complex reasons. I also have little doubt that Shinzo Abe's premiership in Japan has been a catalyst for this type of activity among Korean-American voters in Virginia and other US states.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What does South Korea have to gain by attempting to change the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea? Do they think that it will become their territorial waters? Anyone have an answer?

It would strengthens their claim towards any islands in the sea, of course. Simply put, it sets a bad precedent for Korea and China to make more demands on Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No wonder Biden think Japan should be USA 51st State, JP treat Va as JP territory.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"If Mr. Kim wants to bring the hatred of the home country over here with him, then I re-iterate that no one invited him here. He should be first and foremost an American, period."

Well actually, my guess is that the US government did formally approve and invite Mr. Kim (or his parents) to emigrate to America. He almost certainly had an interview at the US Embassy in Seoul before moving to the USA. It's not like the 19th century when Europeans just boarded any ship they could find and sailed to Ellis Island without permission.

And you're raising some touchy issues about what constitutes being an American. Most people in the USA, I am guessing, would strenuously object to the idea that their "loyalty" to the USA should be somehow made official by requiring Korean-Americans or other Americans to refrain from lobbying their state representatives on particular issues that mean a lot to them.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Look, I understand their grievances. I have many bones to pick with life in Japan but I always call it like I see it. It's the Sea of Japan. Live with it. That is how it's always been and I don't sea (pardon the pun) a need for change.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If it's such a bone of contention between the two of them (unless Russia has chimed in on this too?), why not simply rename it to something specific, but ultimately generic, so as not to confuse it with other seas ("East Sea" is too vague).

Much like the Yellow, Black, White and Red Seas, why not give the thing a colour and be done with it.

Apparently this has been going on since the 90s though, so... meh.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They should mix the two and call it the East Sea of Koran or the East-West Sea of JapaKorean! That sounds cool.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These issues with Japan that Korean immigrants import into the US have nothing to do with America, its citizens, or US political/social life. If you can't leave your nationalist hatred at home in Korea where it belongs, don't emigrate in the first place to spread your social poison and nationalist inanities. If any Korean group tried on this type of nationalist political agitation against the Japanese in Australia, they'd be ridiculed as racists and pilloried for being socially divisive. I'm amazed that American politicians are even buying into this nonsense.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The US calls it the Sea of Japan. Russia, China, UK, Germany, France and other countries of the world call it the Sea of Japan in their languages. Why does Korea force them to call it by its local Name? Actually Japan calls the Pacific Ocean "Taiheiyo", but we never force it to other countries because we know it is our local name.

In fact, it was named the Sea of Japan by Russians, not by Japanese. And it was so called in the world even during the Edo period when Japan had a closed-door policy. It is a total lie of Koreans that the name "Sea of Japan" is the result of Japan's oppression. Please refer to the web site of the Foreign Ministry of Japan.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/maritime/japan/index.html

It is simply ridiculous because the sea in question is west of Japan, and south of Russia. And further ridiculously, a Korean official already proposed to add "of Korea" to "the East Sea" in the US textbook, saying it doesn't tell east of which country. You know what they would say next? They would surely start saying to delete "East".

First they said, the sea should not have a certain country's name (they meant Japan). Then, they said the name "East Sea" was recognized by many countries through the ages although the old maps carrying that name is very small, even if is totalled with "Chosun Sea", "Sea of Corea", etc.

They can call the sea as they like in their country, but only in their country. It is nothing more than they just don't like it is called by a name with the word "Japan".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"If you can't leave your nationalist hatred at home in Korea where it belongs, don't emigrate in the first place"

And here we go again with this line of argument. How do you propose to enforce this type of thinking? US diplomats at the embassy in Seoul cannot, during the course of an interview, ask potential Korean immigrants to pledge that they will refrain from lobbying their elected representatives on certain issues in the USA should they obtain American citizenship. The exception, perhaps, could be on issues that would call into question their loyalty to the USA, e.g. lobbying politicians to call for the overthrow of the national government in Washington. Obviously lobbying for a name change with respect to a body of water located far away from the USA does not amount to anything treasonous.

Some of you are underestimating how strongly American citizens embrace their right to lobby and pressure elected politicians to do as they demand. It's a political culture that does, I would say, view elected officials with a certain amount of contempt. These Virginia politicians in Richmond just want to get re-elected and stay in office, so they are responsive.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I like letbe's Idea of Sea of Peace. Heiwa na Umi? Korea and Japan are neighbors. They should be friends even Japan stole Korea.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

america can just use the standard japanese government response, "it's an internal matter".

Sorry pal, you've got your wires crossed. It's not Japan that says that. Everyone knows that's the well used catchphrase of your friendly neighbours China. They tend to use it when they're locking people up without trial, or persecuting minorities, or inciting Tibetans to set themselves on fire, or...well, you know the drill.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This time Korea's at fault but for the other ongoing issues, Japanese politicians are much to blame for feigning ignorance. By now I think describing three countries with a few words is sufficient. China's overly aggressive and unreasonable, Korea throws too much hissy fit over everything Japan does and Japan's too good at pretending to play victim card.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The title says "diplomacy," but I don't there's any diplomacy going on. It sounds more like two old ladies bickering about knitting.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Another GOP-Tea tactic that reveals the shallow nature of politics and lack of interest in anything other than political power in the States, read on . . .

"According to a Korea Times newspaper article, the campaign to educate the IHO began on January 22, 2002, in anticipation of the IHO's upcoming publication Limits of Oceans and Seas."

We find from a Korean source: http://korea.prkorea.com/wordpress/english/2012/03/06/the-historical-precedent/ a great history of names used to identify the sea between Japan and Korea . . .

"According to Chinese sources, China has known of the “East Sea” since the Tang Dynasty; however, they called it just “Sea” or “Great Sea.” With the establishment in 698 of the Kingdom of Parhae by Koreans, the Chinese began calling the East Sea the “Sea of Parhae.” China used the term, “East Sea,” during the Liao Dynasty (947-1125). At times during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, the Chinese referred to the East Sea as “Ching Hai” which means “Sea of Whales” because there were a lot of whales found there. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Chinese referred to the northeastern area of the East Sea as “East Sea” and the southern area as the “South Sea.” Around 1884 during the Qing Dynasty, some scholars and bureaucrats occasionally used the term “Sea of Japan” in some documents. However, the Russia-Japan Treaty of 1905 was the first documented use of the term “Sea of Japan” at a government level."

"The East Sea was registered by Japan as the “Sea of Japan” in 1923. No other member country raised any objection. Consequently, the 1929 Monaco Conference adopted a resolution to publish Special Publication No.23 entitled The Limits of Oceans and Seas, which was based on data collected previously, and to make this publication an internationally accepted document.”

still further insight reveals . . .

Peter Kim, a Korean-born businessman in Washington’s Virginia suburbs, "who leads the group Voice of Korean Americans. “The Korean community is very upset.” Actually Mr. Kim is a GOP-Tea political operative.

Republicans, who have been trying to make their party more attractive to minorities, think the kerfuffle gives them an opening that could help in this year’s U.S. Senate race and the 2016 presidential contest.

“He’s (Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) in the middle of an international incident right now, and he’s backed into a corner,” said Jason Chung, the Republican National Committee’s Asian and Pacific American affairs communications director. “This will affect Hillary Clinton, because they will remember Terry making promises and Terry being Hillary’s primary surrogate in Virginia. This will make them think twice about Secretary Clinton.”

source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/va-textbook-bill-on-alternative-sea-of-japan-name-heads-toward-a-partisan-showdown/2014/01/29/9d0ee046-888d-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html

So before anyone gets too interested in what is a matter of International importance, remember Mr. Kim is a GOP-Tea wanna-be who thinks race baiting is right in line with GOP-Tea politics in the States, and he's right. Race baiting is a GOP-Tea pledge of allegiance to wealth and power. Mr. Kim has his marching orders, expect him to follow his instructions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry pal, you've got your wires crossed. It's not Japan that says that. Everyone knows that's the well used catchphrase of your friendly neighbours China.

not so fast chief. they both use it plenty. you think the term is mutually exclusive?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So called "comfort women"? Is the writer of this news article trying to influence the readers with his/her own opinion?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So called "comfort women"? Is the writer of this news article trying to influence the readers with his/her own opinion?

It's a media technique highlighting neutrality. The writer doesn't take one side or the other. Using "Comfort Women" would by bias towards Japan. Using "Sex Slave" would be bias against Japan. By using "so-called" the writer shows that the term is used, but also contested, therefore taking a neutral stand. However, that's not the point of this article.

Korea making a fuss over this just shows how petty they are. East Sea can too easily be confused with East China Sea, particularly in this day and age where everything gets shortened to save time. Pretty much the whole world calls it the Sea of Japan (or the equivalent in their language). I don't sea France contesting "The English Channel." As has been pointed out, seas are named for the bodies that made them, and this is the sea of Japan. If you don't like the term, Korea, then just don't use it. Just don't try to dictate what other people can and cannot call it. Once again, Korea seems to be worryingly concerned about this, when they should be worried about the aggressive actions of China. Is the name a foreign country uses to identify a body of water really more important than a country that is going out of control, unilaterally declaring ADIZ and provoking its neighbours at every opportunity? I didn't think so.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good for Peter Kim. At least the Koreans in America have better ba--s than the Chinese in this kind of action!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The ROK government has recently published a survey that can be interpreted as withdrawing a part of its own assertion.

In November 2007, the ROK's National Geographic Information Institute (NGII), an agency of the Ministry of Construction and Transportation (currently the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs), published a survey of historical maps. Although the NGII's survey contains the same flaws, what is notable is that the report states that there was a rapid increase in the use of the name Sea of Japan from the 19th century (1830 onward) . This clearly shows the fallacy of the ROK's assertion that the name Sea of Japan was the result of the Japanese policy of expansionism and colonial rule, and can be interpreted as affirming that the name Sea of Japan was in widespread use well before Japan's colonial rule over the Korean peninsula.

(Excerpt from the pamphlet of MOFA of Japan)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good for Peter Kim.

No. Shame on Peter Kim. I'm glad I know who he is so I can revile him by name.

Americans of any other color (ie not korean) will certainly look down on Mr Kim and his group.

Unlike ROK and Japan, America is a melting pot of cultures. If Mr Kim cannot comprehend this then he should go back to ROK.

Shame on Virginian officials who let their actions be swayed by ridiculous minority demands like these.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Ignatius, so I take it from your argument that you understand Japan to be a Western country? Geographically speaking, I always thought that both Korea and Japan are considered to be East Asian nations. Perhaps, since you find a simple naming of East Sea to be "Korea-centric" (even without any mention of Korea in the name) East Asian Sea would suit your preferences better? Unless, of course, you really are biased in the matter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Shame on Virginian officials who let their actions be swayed by ridiculous minority demands like these."

Ridiculous minority demands? Oh boy, given Virginia's sordid history as the first place where, in what is now the USA, slaves were brought from Africa (in 1619) that's not the best choice of words. And before you ridicule such a comparison, be aware that Virginians themselves are extremely sensitive to the perception that their state is reverting to its old ways.

You and others sound pretty upset about this. Unfortunately for you, elected politicians in Virginia (and everywhere else, for that matter) don't really care about the opinions of anybody except the people eligible to vote for them. And there's now a huge group of ethnic Koreans concentrated in the northern part of that state (tens of thousands) who are eligible to vote in elections. Legal immigration and relatively easy pathways to citizenship do have their consequences.

This whole thread is turning into a rather bitter condemnation of state-level politicians in Virginia for even responding to this pressure from their Korean-American constituents. Uh, that's ethnic politics and democracy in America. The Irish, Italians, Poles, Armenians, Cubans--all of them in the past have used their numbers in America to bring pressure to bear on politicians. It may seem "uncouth" (as another frustrated person here put it) but that's how it works, for better or for worse.

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@toshiko No wonder Biden think Japan should be USA 51st State, JP treat Va as JP territory.

You are funny I think you are a Mole here! Anyways take out the word Think if the US wanted that to happen it could have easily been accomplished along time ago. Should i havr to remind you?

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Ridiculous minority demands? Oh boy, given Virginia's sordid history as the first place where, in what is now the USA, slaves were brought from Africa (in 1619) that's not the best choice of words. And before you ridicule such a comparison, be aware that Virginians themselves are extremely sensitive to the perception that their state is reverting to its old ways.

Oh please. While I have no doubt that Kim and his band of losers would like to see their "problems" compared to slavery, there is no relationship between the history of Virginia and some first generation immigrants agitating to have their view of the world/historical events recognized in their adopted homeland. Like I said, I have no doubt these ROK lobbyists attempted to use the troubled history of Virginia to induce sympathy on their behalf. This just makes their demands all the more sickening.

Unfortunately for you, elected politicians in Virginia (and everywhere else, for that matter) don't really care about the opinions of anybody except the people eligible to vote for them. And there's now a huge group of ethnic Koreans concentrated in the northern part of that state (tens of thousands) who are eligible to vote in elections. Legal immigration and relatively easy pathways to citizenship do have their consequences.

So you admit that anything these haters manage to "accomplish" (little statues to their suffering in New Jersey, or California) they have achieved only as a result of influence peddling and vote buying, and not because anyone feels even a modicum of real sympathy for their gripes. Disgraceful and duplicitous process, leads to empty policies.

This whole thread is turning into a rather bitter condemnation of state-level politicians in Virginia for even responding to this pressure from their Korean-American constituents.

While the politicians must bear the blame if they cave in to bribes and promises of votes, it is the immigrants who dare to bring their filthy politics of hatred to America that I most despise.

Uh, that's ethnic politics and democracy in America. The Irish, Italians, Poles, Armenians, Cubans--all of them in the past have used their numbers in America to bring pressure to bear on politicians. It may seem "uncouth" (as another frustrated person here put it) but that's how it works, for better or for worse.

What stupid examples. Of course immigrants should be free to "bring pressure to bear" on their representatives if they face inequality or injustice in America, as some of the groups you mention above have done. This is a different matter altogether than the one Kim and his friends are pursuing. They sure the **** are not entitled to demand that we change our maps, school curriculum etc, based on their one warped perspective on the world.

I will repeat what I posted above. Americans of every other color (ie not Kim's friends) will certainly look down on ROK for this, they will look down on koreans in general for this, and they will look down on Virginia politicians for allowing themselves to be bought.

Americans are not stupid. They know what the word precedent means. Shall we have statues to the Hutu? Then what of the Tutsis? Shall we recognize the suffering of the Croats? Then what about the Serbs? The Kurds? The Chechens? All more worthy than ROK by a long shot, yet all smart enough to understand what America is, and keep their mouths shut.

Since you don't seem to understand what America is, let me tell you. America is a place where you leave your baggage at the door and try to fit in with the culture and ways of the country that was kind enough to accept you. I cannot express strongly enough how contrary to the very spirit of America these korean demands are. Sickening stuff right here folks.

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hidingout: Like I said, you do sound pretty upset. Feel free to contact the office of a Virginia politician, though I doubt he/she will care what you have to say unless you provide an address located in his/her electoral district. You could contact Korean-American interest groups based in Virginia...but something tells me you wouldn't use the nicest language in any message you write to them.

As for your assumption that Americans will look down on ethnic Koreans in Virginia for pushing this--wishful thinking. I'd bet that more people who post regularly on Japan Today care far more passionately about this matter than literally anybody in the USA outside of Virginia. And Virginians themselves are probably indifferent for the most part, since the name of the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula has never, ever been an issue of concern to most of them.

And the examples I gave of other ethnic groups in America are not stupid. Many of them have pushed to change school textbooks and whatnot. Armenians have succeeded in making the Turkish-led genocide of 1915 (which Turks dispute ever happened) a standard topic in history classes, and Cuban-Americans have been effective at demonizing Fidel Castro and getting many Americans to think he's as awful as Hitler (while most objective observers doubt that's the case). So I'd say there's nothing really out of the ordinary or out of bounds about what Korean-Americans are doing now in Virginia. What IS unusual is the government of Japan's determination to try and influence the outcome of votes in some of America's state legislatures. In effect a foreign country is trying to counter the lobbying efforts of American citizens at the sub-national level in the USA. Foreign influence-peddling goes on all the time in Washington, but you rarely see this kind of thing in state capitals.

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@MASSWIPE: Thanks, Excellent explanation !

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I propose renaming Virginia as Eastern Kentucky until they develop a sense of boundaries.

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@Ossan: You have been writing your comments with your thorough research and there are people who love to read your comments regarding Japan. So, you are mistaken as a Japanese. "The Koreans just don't >like you people" Even you write with excellent English , not like my broken English.

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Kim said, "When I hear about the Japanese government trying to keep the name 'Sea of Japan' only, it brings old memories back and we say: 'hey, maybe they are trying to extend their history of military expansionism.'"

Koreans should learn the true history. The name of the sea has nothing to do with Japanese militarism.

If their argument is that anything which has Japan in it should be changed purely because Koreans hate Japan, the problem lies in Koreans, not outside.

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The name Japan itself ('origin of the sun', roughly speaking) only makes sense if Japan is being viewed from its west, namely Korea or China etc. So the two names Japan Sea and East Sea are actually synonymous. So there is no reason to even discuss it really. The english-language name is clearly Japan Sea.

The German Ocean was renamed the North Sea by the British side during WW1, and that name is actually known by many countries now. That sea is of course not north of Britain but east of it. The name would only make sense for Belgium and the Netherlands, if anybody cared. But they don't. Similarly nobody in Britain cares that the sea between Britain and Ireland is universally called the Irish Sea. The sea between Britain and France is known as the English Channel in Britain, but by a totally different name in France. Nobody cares about that, either. Do you hear France demanding that La Manche (or The Sleeve) be used in and English-language context? No you do not!

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Armenians have succeeded in making the Turkish-led genocide of 1915 (which Turks dispute ever happened) a standard topic in history classes, and Cuban-Americans have been effective at demonizing Fidel Castro and getting many Americans to think he's as awful as Hitler (while most objective observers doubt that's the case).

Sigh. Except that those are cases where people are speaking out against their own motherlands. I have no problem with that. Again I submit to you that the game Kim is playing here is a totally different one.

Virginians themselves are probably indifferent for the most part, since the name of the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula has never, ever been an issue of concern to most of them.

Precisely. Which makes Kim's attempts to persuade them to move away from the known English standard in favor of his preferred nomenclature all the more disgusting. Here is a person (Kim), not even born in the country, and not speaking English as his native language, presuming to tell Americans how to label their maps and speak their own language. Your defense of his actions is farcical.

As for your assumption that Americans will look down on ethnic Koreans in Virginia for pushing this--wishful thinking.

That's not what I said. I said they will look down on ethnic Koreans everywhere. Go present the story to a group of Americans and see what they say.

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Hey hidingout, I am NOT defending the actions of this Peter Kim fellow in Virginia. I actually think the name "Sea of Japan" makes more sense, since no sea would exist if the 4 main islands of Japan were literally not on the map. It would just be the Pacific Ocean there. The formation of the Japanese landmass during the end of the last ice age or whenever led to the creation of the sea that now exists.

All I am saying is that people like you care WAY MORE about this matter than about 99% of Virginians and about 99.9% of Americans overall. So all these assumptions you are making about how Americans will look down on Koreans for doing this are, in my view, inaccurate. And Peter Kim's status as a foreign-born American whose native language is not English is irrelevant. Once you naturalize and acquire fluency in English in America, anybody is free to lobby on behalf of any issue except those that conflict with one's loyalty to the United States. Lobbying to have an alternative name for the Sea of Japan included in public school textbooks (for whatever reason, including unfortunately extreme dislike of Japan) absolutely does NOT qualify as disloyalty to the United States.

And how exactly are Armenian-Americans speaking out against their own mother country of Armenia by lobbying to have school textbooks in the USA explain and describe the Turkish-led genocide of 1915 in the most explicit detail? Their objective here appears to be to demonize Turkey and make Turkey look bad, which is why Ankara reacts with anger and pressures lawmakers in Washington not to vote for anti-Turkey initiatives.

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MASSWIPEFeb. 03, 2014 - 09:46PM JST All I am saying is that people like you care WAY MORE about this matter than about 99% of Virginians and about >99.9% of Americans overall. So all these assumptions you are making about how Americans will look down on >Koreans for doing this are, in my view, inaccurate.

True, few if any Americans care about it. But for those who bother to read about it, the Korean argument does look really foolish. I haven't come across anyone of any nationality or ethnic background OTHER THAN KOREAN who thought changing he name was a good idea. The most commonly heard comment is "stupid".

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I am getting so sick of both Sourh and NORTH Koreans!! Get a life!! This idiot fool Kim “ was horrified that his son read the Sea of Japan in an AMERICAN text book!! Imagine how we Mexicans feel when read crap like Remember the Alamo in Texas that was stolen from Mexico!! You don't like American schools, get back on da plane!! As da locals would say in Hawaii!!

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