The term "East Sea" is universal and historical.

"Sea of Japan" is a remainder from Japanese Imperialism.

“East Sea” is part of Koreans’ lives.

What should be the proper name?

“East Sea” instead of “Sea of Japan”

The name East Sea, besides its neutral character, has an additional advantage in that the adjective “East” perfectly fits with its geographical position, located in the Far Eastern part of Asia. Similar nomenclature for a body of water can be found in the example of the North Sea, which derives its name from its position relative to the European continent.

The Results of our Effort!




Maps of World


National Geographic



Dear VANK Thank you for this communication. You will be pleased to know hat we have now adjusted our files, and have removed Chinese from the languages spoken in Korea. Regarding the Sea of Japan, We are now adding East Sea as an annotation in all our map products from now on wards. Please look at our Maps and Atlases World Factfile on for confirmation of this. Maybe you could circulate this news among the VANK organization. With best wishes, and thank you again for bringing this matter to my attention.

Hello, VANK Thank you for your recent e-mail. I appreciate your concerns and have passed your comments on to the person responsible for our Korea pages. We will certainly take you comments into consideration when updating the profile and map. Once again, thank you for your feedback. Best wishes,

– Administrative Assistant, New Media Unit, Lonely Planet Publications

How to
Name the Sea

  • Historical Background
  • Efforts by the Republic of Korea to restore the proper name
  • When and why did the name “Sea of Japan” replace other names?
  • Recent Progress
  • What should be the proper name? : “East Sea”instead of “Sea of Japan”
  • Conclusion

Virginia passed the East Sea Bill

“During Japanese annexation, she [mymother] was not allowed to use her given name that her father gave her. She had to use a Japanese name …When they [Koreans] open up the textbooks of their children and they saw a map (with a name that reflects historic inaccuracy), that reminds them of the oppression, that reminds them of the invasion, that reminds them of the body of water that was crossed by the Japanese to come and annex that nation for 35 years.”Virginia Delegate Mark Keam (Democrat)

“Require all textbooks approved by the Board ofEducation to note that the Sea of Japan is also referred to as the East Sea.” HB 11, introduced by Virginia Delegate Timothy Hugo (Republican)