A county in the United States has instructed teachers to let their students know that the body of water between Japan and Korea is called both the East Sea and the Sea of Japan. South Korea has long been arguing that at the very least, it should be called both, even as they say the correct term is the former because the latter is still a legacy of Japan’s militaristic past.
Anne Arundel county, located in Maryland and with a population of 540,000 has decided that their students ought to know about the two names of that body of water and even more important, why they have two names. According to Andrea M. Kane, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, the National Geographic Society and other cartographical institutions, atlases and textbooks are already carrying both names so it is but logical to teach the students that. They are the first US region that has “formally distributed teaching guidelines on the East Sea”, according to Peter Y. Kim, head of the Voice of Korean Americans (VoKA). The group has been working towards putting the name East Sea onto US school textbooks and the decision by Anne Arundel is a result of months of campaigning by the group.
The US government still maintains a single-name policy when it comes to the waters. Earlier this month the Pentagon came under fire from South Koreans because an exhibit commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War ceasefire featured maps that labeled the area as the Sea of Japan. But critics say it was more about the officials from Washington and Seoul neglecting to look at the details of the exhibit rather than a political move by the Pentagon.
[ via Global Post ]
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