The Naming Issue
Response to We the People Petition on the Sea of Japan Naming Issue
By Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Thank you for using the "We the People" platform to express your views on the usage of the term "Sea of Japan."
It is longstanding United States policy to refer to each sea or ocean by a single name. This policy applies to all seas, including those bordered by multiple countries that may each have their own names for such bodies of water. Concerning the body of water between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula, longstanding U.S. policy is to refer to it as the "Sea of Japan." We are aware the Republic of Korea refers to the body of water as the "East Sea," and the United States is not asking the Republic of Korea to change its nomenclature. U.S. usage of the "Sea of Japan" in no way implies an opinion regarding any issue related to sovereignty.
We understand that this naming issue is an important and sensitive one for both the Republic of Korea and Japan. I assure you the United States remains committed to our deep and indispensable alliances with the Republic of Korea and Japan, relationships based on shared values and mutual trust. We will continue to work with the Republic of Korea and Japan to address regional and global challenges together.
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