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'Sea of Japan' Is the Right Term

Friday, March 25, 2005; Page A18

A map included with the March 17 news story "Islands Come Between South Korea and Japan" used the terms "East Sea" and "Dokdo."

Regarding the term "East Sea": Japan believes it is essential to refer to this body of water as the "Sea of Japan," a name used widely by the global community since the early 19th century. Although South Korea asserts that the name "Sea of Japan" came into general use as a consequence of Japan's colonial past, the name was common long before colonization in the 20th century. Therefore, Korea's attempt to change the name to "East Sea" is without merit.

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Further, in March 2004 the United Nations confirmed that "Sea of Japan" is the standard term for that body of water and declared that dual designation breaches the prevailing practice of the single use of "Sea of Japan" and infringes upon the neutrality of the United Nations.

Regarding the term "Dokdo" appearing on the same map: These islands are an integral part of Japan, and thus they should be referred to as "Takeshima."


Minister for Public Affairs

Embassy of Japan


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