S. Korean scholars to push for adoption of East Sea name

March 5, 2012 11:30 am 

BRUSSELS, March 5 — South Korean scholars will promote the adoption of the name "East Sea" for the body of water between Korea and Japan during a seminar this week in Brussels with more than 30 international experts , organizers said on Monday, ahead of a crucial sea-naming conference next month.

The 18th international seminar on ocean names will open Wednesday in the Belgian capital and run through Friday, with more than 30 experts from 15 countries participating, according to the event's Seoul-based co-hosts Northeast Asian History Foundation and Society for East Sea Research. The experts will include Brahim Atoui, a vice-chairperson of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names.

The annual seminar, led by South Korean scholars, including Park No-hyung, a law professor at Korea University in Seoul and head of the Society for East Sea Research, is aimed at gaining international support for South Korea's name for the waters separating Korea and Japan. The body of water has mostly been marked "Sea of Japan" since Tokyo registered the name with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in the early 1920s during its colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula.

The seminar also comes ahead of a crucial general assembly meeting of the IHO scheduled for April 23-27 in Monaco. Seoul officials have said their initial aim is to establish parallel usage of the names East Sea and Sea of Japan, before moving to fix the Korean appellation as the single official name.

Currently, the IHO's sea maps refer to the waters only as the Sea of Japan.(PNA/Yonhap)

FPV/jnc

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