‘East Sea Omitted on Most Foreign Maps’
Many of the world maps published in 45 countries do not mention Korea's ``East Sea'' or mark it along with the Sea of Japan, said Rep. Park Jin of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) Thursday.
At a National Assembly inspection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Park said 208 of 295 maps described the East Sea as the Sea of Japan.
He also said the East Sea and the Sea of Japan were both included on 73 maps.
Park said, ``The transcription of the East Sea can be found on only nine maps or 3 percent of the total," he said. Five maps do not specify the name of the sea.
Park called on the ministry to make steady efforts to correct the distortion. ``At the very least, the East Sea should be written simultaneously.''
Most of the 295 maps were produced in the U.S., Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, Britain, Australia, Canada and Italy.
He also said 19 of the 295 maps called the Dokdo islets on the East Sea Takeshima.
The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has been calling the East Sea the Sea of Japan since 1929, when Korea was under the colonial rule of Japan.
Following South Korea's objections at the 2002 annual membership meeting, the IHO moved to use both names under a 1974 resolution that calls for use of all relevant names in cases of conflict.
When the move was met with strong opposition from Japan, the IHO shelved its plans and notified the governments of Korea and Japan to reach a consensus on their own.