Res. No. 117
Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign S.1284/A.1356, requiring all textbooks to also refer to the Sea of Japan as the East Sea.
By Council Member Vallone
Whereas, There has been a longstanding debate between Japan and Korea regarding the name of the body of water located between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula; and
Whereas, Japan refers to that body of water as the “Sea of Japan,” while Korea recognizes it as the “East Sea”; and
Whereas, Whereas, According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the name Sea of Japan had been geographically and historically established since the late 18th to early 19th century and is currently used in most countries all over the world; and
Whereas, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan also stated that more than 97% of maps used throughout the world display the name Sea of Japan; and
Whereas, Korean advocates argue that the name Sea of Japan was standardized worldwide while Korea was under Japanese colonial rule, after the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) published its definitive “Limits of the Oceans and the Seas” in 1929, according to Reuters; and
Whereas, In response to the name dispute, the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC, began including the term East Sea in parentheses following any reference to the Sea of Japan in its maps in 1999; and
Whereas, In 2014, the Virginia State Legislature passed a bill that required all new textbooks to also refer to the Sea of Japan as the East Sea, and was signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe; and
Whereas, That same year, a bill was introduced in New Jersey that would require the body of water to be called the East Sea for all governmental purposes, although it does not require the term to be used in school textbooks, according to U.S. News and World Report; and
Whereas, In New York, S.1284, sponsored by State Senator Tony Avella, and A.1356, sponsored by Assembly Member Braunstein, would amend the Education Law, requiring all textbooks in the State to reference the Sea of Japan as also the East Sea; and
Whereas, This bill would align New York’s textbooks with a growing, international movement to recognize both names as acceptable; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign S.1284/A.1356, requiring all textbooks to also refer to the Sea of Japan as the East Sea.
LS 669 & 750/ Res.146-2014