14 September 2006

Asia Watch on "Sea of Japan" vs. "East Sea"

Asia Watch presents a 27-point rebuttal to a Korea.net video that argues for renaming the Sea of Japan as the East Sea.
In summary: This video ignores the claim that “Sea of Japan” came into widespread usage in the early 19th century. Instead, it presents studies of pre-19th century maps, none of which discredit the findings of Japanese researchers with regard to the 19th century. After failing to discredit Japanese claims, it shows that the name “East Sea” has been used by Koreans for 2000 years. It then claims that the entire world is obligated to print foreign terms for seas alongside their traditionally-established native language terms, in accordance with a recommendation of a UN organization (but only in the case of the “East Sea”). The video attempts to disguise the anti-Japanese Korean ultranationalist agenda behind a thin veil of academic arguments, and does a remarkable horrible job. If this is the best argument the Korean government can produce, I doubt they’ll be winning over many converts through the spread of this video.
via Japundit

Why stop at the Sea of Japan? How about the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Tonkin, the Marianas Trench, the Gulf of Siam/Thailand, and the Gulf of Mexico? Who gave the Coral Sea to the coral? Don't the sea cucumbers have as valid a claim, or the moray eels? I say let's restore the proper name for the English Channel: The Sleeve.

UPDATE: I was going to ask who gave the Bay of Pigs to the porkers, but its Spanish name is Bahía de Cochinos 'Bay of Triggerfish'. Cochinos are only metaphorically disgusting in behavior or appearance—like pigs, though nowhere near as intelligent. Also:
Some species of triggerfish are known to make a sound akin to a grunt or snarl when taken out of the water.

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