Activists to run "East Sea" ads in U.S. newspapers

August 6, 2009 9:21 am 

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By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Aug. 6 — A group of South Korean activists said Thursday they will run full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers in the coming days, stating that the waters between South Korea and Japan is called the "East Sea," not the "Sea of Japan," as claimed by Tokyo.

The ads will appear in The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal this and next week, said Prof. Seo Kyoung-duk, who runs an extensive national promotion campaign. Seo will run the ads with the help of South Korean pop singer Kim Chang-hoon and a volunteer group.

Seo, who had paid for similar ads in the U.S. dailies before, said he decided to renew the campaign after the Wall Street Journal again labeled the waters the "Sea of Japan" in an article dated July 3. He called it a "small but significant error."

"We would like to inform you that the sea between Korea and Japan is called 'East Sea,' not 'Sea of Japan,' as it is labeled in one of your articles on Asia. This body of water has been referred to as the 'East Sea' by many nations for the past 2,000 years," the ads read.

"There is no 'Sea of Japan' in the world. It only exists in the thinking of the Japanese government in its attempts to distort the history," it says.

Japan has been lobbying international organizations to officially name the body of water the "Sea of Japan." South Korea has been backing "East Sea" by presenting centuries-old maps and documents.

"I tried to find the use of the name 'East Sea' in some of the prestigious global newspapers, such as NYT, WSJ, WP, for the last 10 years, but I couldn't find one," Seo said.

"So my colleagues and I decided to place an ad in these newspapers so that we can expect stronger impact around the globe." (PNA/Yonhap)

DCT/rsm

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