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Korea Times

British website ditches ‘Sea of Japan’ after Korean student’s request

High school student sent several requests insisting the ‘Sea of Japan’ was Korea’s ‘East Sea’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 March, 2017, 12:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 March, 2017, 12:18pm

By Eom Da-sol

A Busan International High School student has convinced a British online news agency to replace “Sea of Japan” with “East Sea” on a map posted on its site.

Choi Hyun-jung, 17, sent several requests to the head editor of The Stack to change the name on the East Asia map.

“I found numerous websites on Google that used an East Asian map with false information on geographic names,” Choi told The Korea Times.

“Seeing maps indicating Korea’s ‘East Sea’ as ‘Sea of Japan,’ even on many news outlets, I felt the urge to change the map posted on The Stack at least.”

Japan has been arguing that the eastern sea of Korea historically belonged to Japan and labelled the controversial area as “Sea of Japan” on its national maps.

Choi explained in her email to the British company, “the name ‘Sea of Japan’ is a destructing legacy of the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945).” She also gave other examples of international organisations and map publishers supporting the idea of stating East Sea. Her argument was based on historical evidence that shows Korea has occupied the sea for centuries.

After Choi sent five requests, The Stack apologised for the mistake and fixed the map on March 23.

“It was not hard to write emails in English because I have been studying the language for years,” said Choi, who wants to become a diplomat specialising in public affairs and Korean culture.

“I think this shows that you can do anything that your heart desires, only if you do not give up.”

UK website discards 'Sea of Japan' after Korean student's request