New Jersey, New York to push for ‘East Sea’ name bill

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 9, 2014 - 19:50
  • Updated : Feb 9, 2014 - 19:50
Members of the Dokdo Academy, a South Korean NGO of university and high school students, prepare to leave for a trip to the U.S. to raise awareness about Korean historical controversies at the Incheon International Airport on Sunday. They plan to engage in various promotional activities, such as inspecting whether the names “East Sea” and “Dokdo Islets” are properly used at major U.S. colleges and public libraries on the East Coast. (Yonhap)

New York and New Jersey are to follow suit in stepping up East Sea naming efforts, after Virginia’s state legislature passed a related bill Thursday.

The Korean-American community of the two states is set to create a committee to promote legislation requiring school textbooks to include “East Sea” when identifying the body of water between Japan and Korea, as early as this week.

The legislation, if approved, could spread the dual-name movement across the nation.

In New York, Democrat Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky proposed a revision stating that all textbooks published in New York after July 1 must include the Korean name as well as “Sea of Japan” in naming the stretch of water.

Another Democrat, Gordon Johnson of New Jersey, recommended requiring the designation “East Sea” in official government matters, but only under the condition that no additional budget is used.

Korean-American organizations have been campaigning for the adoption of the Korean name for the sea by New Jersey lawmakers for more than two years and will continue their efforts with New York representatives, according to a representative of the Korean-American community.

The dual-name revision was passed in the lower house of the Virginia General Assembly last Thursday, requiring “East Sea” to be used when referring to “the Sea of Japan,” a name which is deemed a historical relic of the Japanese colonial rule for many Koreans.

By Suh Ye-seul (