N.Y. Senate committee endorses East Sea bill

March 13, 2014

By Chung Min-uck

The New York State Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a bill requiring the use of both East Sea and Sea of Japan in the state’s school textbooks, the Korean-American community there said Wednesday.

This marks the first step towards enacting the dual-name system for the body of water separating Korea and Japan in the state.

The community said the bill, introduced earlier by state Sen. Tony Avella calls for not only the use of both names, but teaching students about Japan’s wartime sexual slavery as well.

The bill will now be put to a vote at a general session of the Senate, and will also be required to go through the same procedure in the lower house. If the proposal passes both houses, it would then have to be signed into law by the state’s governor.

The latest passage is considered meaningful progress as it comes at a time when Japan is pushing lobbying efforts in the New York State Legislature to block the use of East Sea in textbooks

Reportedly, Japanese diplomats in the U.S. sent a letter to senators and assemblymen in New York, asking them to oppose the proposed bill.

Recently Tokyo also released an online video that criticizes Seoul’s efforts to have the name East Sea used along with Sea of Japan in U.S. textbooks.

Tokyo’s lobbying efforts against use of the name have been on the rise in the wake of the successful passage of a similar bill in Virginia, passed the state legislature last week.

Prompted by the success, Korean communities in other U.S. cities and states have joined in on the movement to push for the joint use of the two names, including two cities in California as well as Georgia and New Jersey.

Seoul and Tokyo have long feuded over the names.

Korea insists Japan unilaterally started using Sea of Japan during the 1910-45 colonization of the Korean peninsula, and promoted the name internationally during that time.

One Comment

  1. Chiu Kok-chiung

    August 13, 2015 at 1:51 AM

    Does the Abe government have no shame at all?

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