French Encyclopedia Publisher Adopts 'East Sea' Denomination

The leading French encyclopedia and dictionary publisher Larousse uses the term "East Sea" for the body of water between Korean and Japan in the 2012 editions of Le Petit Larousse and of an illustrated guide of global economies and societies.

Established in 1854, Larousse is the biggest dictionary and encyclopedia publisher in France. The term "Mer de L'est" (East Sea) is used in maps of the Korean Peninsula in the two books, with "Mer du Japon" (Sea of Japan) in parentheses.

The 2011 editions used only "Mer du Japon," but a Larousse spokesman said the publisher decided to provide readers with accurate information by using both terms because ancient maps using the term "East Sea" continue to be found and there is a dispute over the name.

Map and guidebook publisher Michelin also uses both terms on a large world map and a Korea guidebook it published last year, but "Sea of Japan" is the first name, followed by "East Sea" below in parentheses.

Also in France, newspaper Le Monde also uses both "East Sea" and "Sea of Japan," as does Le Figaro. / Feb. 20, 2012 10:55 KST