• Kyodo News


The International Hydrographic Organization, faced with opposition from Tokyo, has put off voting on its chairman’s proposal to delete the “Sea of Japan” appellation from an IHO chart for the body of water that South Korea wants called “East Sea,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said Friday.

“Our country was opposed to a vote during today’s session from the standpoint that the Sea of Japan is the only name which is internationally established. As a result, the chairman’s proposal was not put to a vote,” Shiozaki told reporters.

He was referring to the proposal by IHO Chairman David Wynford Williams during a session Thursday that the name be completely omitted from the fourth edition of the IHO’s oceanographic chart, a topic being discussed in the IHO conference in Monaco.

Japan, and South and North Korea have been at odds for decades on how to name the sea, which for decades has been named on maps as the Sea of Japan.

The chairman of the intergovernmental marine agency also asked Seoul, Pyongyang and Tokyo to make their official positions on his proposal after studying it on their own.

The IHO published its first oceanographic chart for the region in 1929 and has since updated it three times, but in all of them, the sea was marked as the Sea of Japan.

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