#International Affairs
IHO members and all of the netizen
South Korea

Hello, I am an undergraduate student in South Korea.

I learned through Korean press that the marking of the East Sea, an issue between South Korea and Japan, will be one of the official agenda of this year's IHO general meeting, and that the fourth revision of "Limits of Oceans and Seas“ will be published based on the meeting.

I'm sure that you have heard of this issue. Japan, taking advantage of its powerful diplomatic powers and lobbying abilities, is attempting to change the name of the East Sea to Sea of Japan. However, I am writing this letter to you with a sincere hope that the truth will be conveyed. Please read through my letter, despite your busy schedules.

This is because the East Sea is not a simply an issue of marking a geographical location. The East Sea is a part of the long Korean history, and a sea passed on to us by our ancestors.
However, there was an incident which distorted the truth. The incident serves as the basics of the logic claimed by Japan.

In 1919, an IHO meeting was held at London. At the time, Korea was colonized by Japan and therefore unable to send a delegation. Only the Japanese delegation participated the meeting and this was when the East Sea was first changed to the name, Sea of Japan. The details on the background and materials are listed below.

In a way, the incident can be regarded simply as a bilateral issue between South Korea and Japan. However, in the 21st century all countries composing the global community face the challenge of establishing peaceful order through harmony and cooperation with a universal perspective.

Nevertheless, Japan is persistently claiming its own national interest by going against the current of times, as well as distorting and concealing the truth to realize their national interest.

Respected members of the IHO,

We, the undersigned, hope that you will make the right decision on the marking of the East Sea based on objective data and evidence, preventing future issues like that of the East Sea.

We submit the following material.

1. East Sea, a Name with 2000 Years of History

Historically, the title, East Sea, was used by Koreans over 2000 years.
From the 16th to mid 19th century, Sea of Korea and Sea of Chosun were more widely used than Sea of Japan.

2. Ancient Maps of the West Mark the Region as East Sea

In maps made by the West from the 16th to early 19th century, various titles were used including Sea of Chosun, Sea of Korea, Eastern Sea, Sea of China and Sea of Japan.
In particular, it was found that the name, Sea of Korea, was most frequently used among the various names during this period.
The region of the East Sea appeared on the world map in the early 16th century when westerners who started their exploration of the East drew maps of the region.

3. Chosun Sea, a Name Used Even by the Japanese

Based on an examination of maps made in Japan, maps which were made by the mid 19th century were discovered to use the term Sea of Chosun.
Based on such evidence, Sea of Chosun and Sea of Korea was the established term of the East Sea region until the mid 19th century.

4. Japan's Claim Lacks Justification

Japan's claim that the title, Sea of Japan, was the established name of the region by westerners from the late 18th to early 19th century, does not coincide with facts gathered from objective research of the academic circle and experts such as examination of ancient maps of the West.
Please refer to the links below for more reference.

We sincerely hope you will choose the name "East Sea".

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The The East Sea, Not the Sea of Japan petition to IHO members and all of the netizen was written by fallbluesky and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.