A South Korean civic group has started a campaign to promote the U.S. state of New York's guidance for public schools to refer to the body of water between the Korea Peninsula and Japan as both the "East Sea" and "Sea of Japan."
The Voluntary Agency Network of Korea(VANK), a civic group that promotes Korea and its history online for an international audience, said on Tuesday that it would use the decision by the New York State Education Department as leverage to promote the use of both names for the waters.
VANK head Park Ki-tae revealed that they plan to send New York State's guidance to major government organizations, publishers, broadcasters and newspapers around the world that have been calling the sea only as the Sea of Japan.
The group, which has 150-thousand members, also aims to spread the word about the East Sea name through various online social networks until the International Hydrographic Organization(IHO) meets next April, when the name of the water will be determined.
The State of New York announced the new guidance last Tuesday, pointing out that for more than two thousand years, not just Koreans, but people throughout the world, viewed the body of water on the eastern boundary of Asia between Korea and Japan as the East Sea. A similar decision was made by the U.S. state of Virginia in 2014, requiring local school textbooks to use the name "East Sea" alongside the "Sea of Japan."