The Japanese government’s five-year ocean policy plan is nearing approval, and in the final draft of the document the country proposes to assert that the name “Sea of Japan” be established as the only globally-accepted name for the body of water which South Korea recently moved to also call Donghae (“East Sea”, in Korean).
The Cabinet is expected to approve the final draft of Japan’s Basic Plan on Ocean policy on Friday. The document will serve as foundation for the nation’s ocean policy for the next five years beginning in 2013. The name “Sea of Japan” is already the internationally recognized name for the body of water by the international community. However, South Korea’s government and private sector have recently beefed up a worldwide campaign demanding that the name “Donghae” be listed together with “Sea of Japan.” Google maps, one of the world’s most used mapping services, made a map earlier this month using both names. As of today, Google maps still carries the parenthetical “East Sea” when you zoom in on the name using the mapping website. The final draft of the ocean policy plan states that the Japanese government will “make efforts to disseminate to the world the proper understanding that the name ‘Sea of Japan’ is the only internationally established name referring to the area.”
Among the other issues tackled in the final draft is Japan’s stance on negotiations with China on jointly developing the Shirakaba gas field – which China calls Chunxiao. As negotiations have been currently suspended amidst escalating tensions due to another dispute in the East China Sea, the document states that Japan will “use every opportunity” to bring China back to the negotiation table, especially in the current situation where Japan is scrambling to fill the gap for cheaper fuel alternatives as the nation’s nuclear power program is currently idled. The final draft also contained recommended government policy in commercializing methane hydrates – commonly known as “fire ice” – by the end of 2018.
[via Asia One]
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