Asia

 

February 7, 2017

5. Survey of historical maps in major countries

It is verified by a survey of historical maps from around the world conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan that the name Sea of Japan is the only internationally established name for the sea area concerned.

The survey conducted by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that,although various names including the Sea of Japan "Sea of Korea," "Oriental Sea" and "Sea of China" were used in maps published in Western countries by the end of 18th century, the name Sea of Japan has been overwhemingly used since the beginning of 19th century.


World Map, Matteo Ricci, 1602, Beijing
In the Kano Collection, Tohoku University Library, Japan

(1) The study of maps possessed by the British Library and the University of Cambridge

(2) The study of maps possessed by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France

(3) The study of maps possessed by the United States Library of Congress

(4) The study of maps in the Russian Federation

(5) The study of maps in Germany

Results of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Survey of Historical Maps

(Percentages indicate the ratio of use of the various names for the sea area concerned)

U.S. Library of Congress
Survey Period: December 2004–March 2005
Maps Surveyed: 1,213 maps
The British Library and the University of Cambridge
Survey Period: December 2002–June 2003
Maps Surveyed: 58 maps
French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France)
Survey Period: October 2003–January 2004
Maps Surveyed: 215 maps
  • Sea of Japan
  • Sea of Korea
  • Oriental Sea
  • East Sea
  • Other

Note: Maps included in the survey indicated a name for the Sea of Japan area.