Japan from the inside out

Still the Sea of Japan

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, August 30, 2007

THE JOINT LOBBYING EFFORT OF BOTH KOREAS to change the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea ran aground–again–when the ninth conference on the standardization of geographical names announced that the status quo will be maintained.

Conference Chair F.J. Ormeling encouraged the three countries to find a compromise (Ha!) or to agree to differ and to report by the next conference, which will be held in five years.

The two Koreas claimed that the Sea of Japan name came into wide use during the Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula. The Japanese counter that the name was used long before that.

The Koreans also note that a quarter of commercial maps worldwide use both names. That this argument was rejected suggests international bodies might now be aware that the table-pounding tactics Joseon uber-nationalists use to promote their fantasies can be intimidating (or generate a desire to avoid any hassle).

The Koreans also complained that their efforts to reach a “mutually agreeable solution” have been stymied because the Japanese have agreed to only one bilateral meeting since 2002. This also suggests that international bodies have wised up about what Korean activists really mean by the expression “mutually agreeable solutions”.

Perhaps if the Koreans were interested in bilateral meetings for mutually agreeable solutions, they could promote the spirit of bilateralism by pulling up a chair and discussing the status of Takeshima.

Jiro Kodera, the Japanese representative, said:

“My delegation believes it is high time for this issue to be put to rest and for us to turn our attention to the true aims of this conference.”


One Response to “Still the Sea of Japan”

  1. Overthinker said

    How about “The Sea of East Japan”? Does that help?

    Here’s a link to an interesting early discussion of the topic:

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