A South Korean civic group held a rally in downtown Paris to urge the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to formally adopt the East Sea name for the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese archipelago, organizers said Saturday.
The Dokdo Network in Seoul said the rally was held in Place Du Trocadero near the Eiffel Tower on Friday with participants made up of college professors calling for the changing of the present Sea of Japan name that was introduced during the period of Japanese imperialistic expansion.
"The widely used East Sea name was sacrificed by Japanese colonialism and the purpose of the gathering in the French capital was to highlight this to the world," the organization said.
Seoul has persistently called on the IHO to revise the formal name of the body of water to the East Sea on all international maritime charts or, at the very least, use both designations to describe the sea on the eastern edge of the Asian mainland. Tokyo, however, has opposed any changes to the Sea of Japan designation.
The network, which generally focuses on condemning Japan's sovereignty claim on the Dokdo islets in the middle of the East Sea, also called on the U.S. state department and Britain's foreign office to withdrawn their support for the Sea of Japan name, and asked other international and governmental agencies to rewrite their maps and charts to reflect the proper designation for the sea.
The network said that the Korean American Association of Chicago recently received a letter from the IHO that stated the East Sea-Sea of Japan naming issue will be part of the upcoming meeting of the global organization.
Members who took part in the Paris rally, meanwhile, will travel to the IHO headquarters in Monaco on Sunday ahead of the planned general assembly of the organization set for next week. The assembly will draw guidelines for hydrography and nautical charting around the world. (Yonhap)