• Kyodo


The Foreign Ministry released on its website Monday a new video criticizing South Korea for causing “unnecessary confusion” by pressing other countries to adopt its name “East Sea” in referring to the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

“The Sea of Japan is the only internationally established name” for the body of water, a ministry official said, adding that the ministry hopes to spread in the international community what it says is “the correct understanding.”

The video says that after studying maps in libraries in Europe and the United States, the Japanese government has determined that the phrase Sea of Japan, “Nihonkai” in Japanese, has been in wide use globally since around the end of the 18th century.

The video calls South Korea’s assertion that the Sea of Japan began being used regularly only in the early 20th century “baseless”  and argues that the name “East Sea” would not be accepted in the international community.

The video, an abridged 5.5-minute  version of the original 2006 video on the same theme, is currently available only in Japanese, but the ministry says it plans to post Korean and English versions on its website soon.

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