East Sea still not widely used on maps


Matt from the About Geography site recently reintroduced the question of “should geographers and cartographers change the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea in deference to Korean sensibilities?”  Since 2002, Korea has been campaigning to officially change the name from Sea of Japan to the East Sea.  The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) originally called for requiring both names be used on maps in 2002, citing a 1974 resolution that calls for use of all relevant names in cases of conflict.  The IHO stepped out of the debate when it became too contentious and has since urged Japan and Korea to come to a consensus on their own.  The Korea Times is reporting that a recent review of 295 maps printed by 45 countries shows that most maps still do not use East Sea.  208 maps only used Sea of Japan to describe the area with another 73 maps using both East Sea and Sea of Japan.  Only three percent (nine maps) use only East Sea and the remaining 5 maps don’t label the sea at all.



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