Legislation requiring that the Korean name for the Sea of Japan be included in new school textbooks has become law in the state of Virginia, a victory for Korean-American campaigners in the U.S. backed by the South Korean government.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the law earlier in the week, a spokesman confirmed on Thursday. The law requires textbooks to add the name "East Sea" to describe the body of water separating Japan from the Korean Peninsula.

Passage of the legislation represents a significant victory for vocal campaigners among Virginia's 82,000 Korean-Americans, who greatly outnumber the state's 19,000 ethnic Japanese.