The Issue of the Naming of the Sea of Japan (Study in Germany):

From December 2007 to March 2008 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) conducted a study on the maps published between the 16th and 20th centuries which were stored in the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) at its Unter den Linden and Potsdam Platz sites, and also on the maps held by a Berlin antiquarian collector and dealer.

This study shows that, of the 1,401 maps examined, 984 indicated a name for the region of the Sea of Japan, and of these, 614 (62.3%) used terms corresponding to "Sea of Japan." There were 535 maps that were produced during the 19th century and had a name indicated for the area in question. Of these, 487 (91%) used terms equivalent to "Sea of Japan." In accordance with similar studies carried out previously in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Russian Federation up to now, these findings reaffirmed that "the name of Sea of Japan became established in Europe and the United States. from the beginning of the 19th century, at a time when Japan was still under its policy of isolation, being unable to exert international influence."

(Note: The Republic of Korea (ROK) has asserted that "the name the Sea of Japan came into dominant as a result of Japan's imperialism and colonialism during the first half of the 20th century" and that "from the mid- to late 19th century terms corresponding to both "East Sea" and Sea of Japan were commonly used on maps published in various countries." ROK bases its claim on its own survey of 59 antique maps in the collections of the Berlin State Library and maps of collector Nikolaus Struck. Of these, 30 (50.8%) make reference to Korea, using the terms "Sea of Korea" (16); "East Sea" or "Oriental Sea" (10); or both "Sea of Korea" and "East Sea" (4). Only three maps (5.1%) refer to Japan, using names corresponding to Sea of Japan.)

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