Korea Faces Failure Over Naming of East Sea

      April 10, 2012 09:27

      The International Hydrographic Organization is likely to use only the "Sea of Japan" to identify the body of water between Korea and Japan in the new standard reference for map production, despite intense lobbying by Korea to get it to adopt the name "East Sea." The decision will be made at the IHO General Assembly in Monaco on April 23.

      The last revision of the reference work, "Limits of Oceans and Seas," was completed in 1953 and IHO member nations have tussled over changes for the last 59 years.

      A high-ranking government official here said, "We've been working since 1992 to have both 'East Sea' and 'Sea of Japan' adopted, but with little success, and member nations are increasing calls to speed up the revision. Our top priority is to prevent the sole use of 'Sea of Japan' in the fourth revision."

      Korea would need to get more than 39 of the 80 IHO member nations to agree to the name change, since two countries' have been suspended, but that now seems unlikely. Many countries, including the U.S. and U.K., have a single-name policy in designating bodies of water, and Japan already seems to have secured the support of more than 39 countries.

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