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Letter Writting Campaign influences world

- Geography      - History      - Territory

Dear sir or Madam
Recently I visited your organizations website and was quite surprised to find your maps of Korea and Japan still describe Koreas East Sea as Sea of Japan which is incorrect. Such an error in a well known website as yours comes as a surprise since we regard you as one of the worlds best. For your reference, the worlds largest commercial mapmaker, National Geographic, and the travel guidebook, Lonely Planet Publication promised us that they would now use the name East Sea. In addition, lycos.com is already using the name, East Seain their website after we pointed out the error. Using a proper name for the body of water between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago is not simply a question of changing the name of a geographical feature. It is rather a part of national effort by the Korean people to erase the legacy of their colonial past and to redress the unfairness that has resulted from it. So, I urge you to use East Sea to describe the body of water in question or both Korean and Japanese designation simultaneously (e.g. East Sea/Sea of Japan) in all your documents and atlases. Once Korea and Japan agree on a common designation, which is in accord with the general rule of international cartography, we can then follow the agreed-on designation. Thank you,
and we would appreciate your favorable consideration.
Respectfully, VANK, Voluntary Agency Network of Korea.

- Geography
1. Letter Writing Campaign Influences Cartegraphy
For well over a year, I have been continuously receiving email form letters from members of Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), who have asked that the CIA World Factbook map of Korea here on my site be edited so that the name of the Sea of Japan to the east of Korea, be changed to the East Sea. This organization of students "working for the promotion of Koreas image"has been engaging in a extensive email campaign to get mapmakers and even international organizations to utilize the name East Sea on their maps. VANKs current major appeal is to the International Hydrographic Organization to include East Sea as an official name for the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and the islands of Japan. According to a Korea Times newspaper article, the campaign to educate the IHO began on January 22, 2002, in anticipation of the IHOs upcoming publication Limits of Oceans and Seas. (In an September 2000 article on my site, you can read about the IHOs pending inclusion of the Southern Ocean as the worlds fifth ocean.)

VANK was successful in getting the National Geographic Society to change their maps (on their Atlas Updates page, you can see their notice) in 1999 to include East Sea in parenthesis underneath the Sea of Japan. The organizations rationale is simple - they claim that the East Sea has as much historical precedent as the Sea of Japan and should be recognized as such. In addition, when a geographic name is disputed, both names are entitled to be used internationally until a solution is determined. Thus, National Geographic and other map makers have changed their maps as a result of the onslaught. About.coms primary email box has been getting about 20 emails a day about the CIA map on my site so I also placed "(East Sea)"on the map not only to stop the attack of extensive bandwidth but also to include the disputed name. See VANKs The Historical precedent for the "East Sea"page for more information about their issues. While my favorite geographic reference, Merriam-Websters Geographical Dictionary (published in 1997) contains no reference to East Sea, the online American Heritage Dictionary includes "(East Sea)"as a parenthetical notation in their entry for the Sea of Japan. It appears that VANKs campaign has been quite successful in changing the name of a geographic feature - one wonders which toponym will be the next to be changed due to an email writing campaign? Below is a copy of one of the many letters I have received...

February 24, 2002
Matt T. Rosenberg About Guide to Geography

2. What is the historically correct name for the body of water lying
     between Korea and Japan?
East Sea or Sea of Japan?
What is the historically correct name for the body of water lying between Korea and Japan? There are many opinions, and in the world of geography and maps there is often more than one answer. In short, it depends on whom you ask. Before the 18th century, no one name was consistently used, and in fact varied names such as "East Sea", "Sea of Korea", "Sea of Japan"and "Oriental Sea" appeared in and on old maps, publications and atlases. Then for a variety of reasons the "Sea of Japan"became more prominent in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the late 1990s the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) began an aggressive letter and email writing campaign, all in an effort to get the world, especially map makers, travel guides and geography web sites to include the East Sea, whenever the long-established Sea of Japan was found in print. Their claim that the East Sea has some historical precedent worked, as some major book and map publishers, educational web sites and other reference materials now include the East Sea name along with the Sea of Japan. At worldatlas.com we play no favorites, nor do we claim to know all of the answers, so until the two countries can reach a unified decision, we will continue to show both names on our maps. We simply ask both sides for their understanding.
3. It should have East Sea, the National Geographic?

Dear Mr. Vank,
We have received your e-mail concerning the incorrect titles for the Sea of Japan. We have forwarded the information on to the correct departments. so they are aware of the error and that it should have East Sea. If you have questions about any Society product or matter, our service representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-647-6733. We also offer a free catalog which is available upon request.

Sincerely, National Geographic

Sea of Japan (East Sea)
Early in 1999, the National Geographic Society recognized the fact that the term Sea of Japan was legitimately disputed by the South Koreans. In keeping with the Society standard place-name convention, we recognize that where a geographical feature is shared by more than one nation,
and its name is disputed, we use the most commonly recognized form of the name first and label the disputed name in parentheses. Thus, on our maps, the Sea of Japan appears as the primary label for this feature while the East Sea appears below in parentheses.

This "patch"updates plate 104 of the Atlas.
穫 2001 National Geographic Society.

4. We have forwarded the correction to our travel department for update.
Hello, VANK
Thank you for writing to Lycos. We appreciate your interest in the Maps service. We have forwarded the correction to our travel department for update. If you have any further questions please let us know. Thank you for using Lycos RoadMaps.

Lycos, Inc. http://www.lycos.com

5. We will certainly take you comments into consideration.
Hello, VANK
Thank you for your recent e-mail. I appreciate your concerns and have passed your comments on to the person responsible for our Korea pages. We will certainly take you comments into consideration when updating the profile and map. Once again, thank you for your feedback. Best wishes,

Administrative Assistant,
New Media Unit,
Lonely Planet Publications

6. We will change map of our site.
Dear VANK Correction
Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We absolutely do want to be accurate. We will remove the map that is on the site and link to one of the map sites that you gave us. We will seek permission to use the actual map on our site but can not post it without permission. We really appreciate you looking at our site and hope you continue to do so. We also appreciate help in making sure that our site is accurate.

Maria Mastromatteo
Educational Technology Consultant
PBS 45 & 49

7. We are now adding East Sea.
Thank you for this communication. You will be pleased to know hat we have now adjusted our files, and have removed Chinese from the languages spoken in Korea. Regarding the Sea of Japan, We are now adding East Sea as an anno- tation in all our map products from now on wards. Please look at our Maps and Atlases World Factfile on www.dk.com for confirmation of this. Maybe you could circulate this news among the VANK organization. With best wishes, and thank you again for bringing this matter to my attention.

Andrew Heritage
Publisher for Cartography, Culture and History
The Dorling Kindersley

8. We will show both names on our maps.
We have received your email and read through the information you sent. I have also logged onto the sites that you included and have found them to be quite interesting and informative. I have passed them on to our authors. At this point, I believe that the best answer we can give you is the following statement from worldatlas.com, one of the sites mentioned in your email: At worldatlas.com we play no favorites, nor do we claim to know all of the answers, so until the two countries can reach a unified decision, we will continue to show both names on our maps. We simply ask both sides for their understanding. I trust that you will gain much good experience in your volunteer efforts to further your cause.

Regards, Nicole Frost External Affairs

9. We will also change to "East Sea".
Dear VANK Members,
Jeppesen plans to revise our affected aeronautical charts to read " East Sea". This change will be made on an "as revised" basis. This means that the next time we print the chart for other aeronautical changes, we will also change to "East Sea". Because some of our charts are printed infrequently, it may take several months before all of our products are updated.

Best Regards, Andrew F. Barnett
Supervisor - Tier 2 Navigation & Display Support
Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.

10. "Sea of Japan" instead of "East Sea" have been solved

Dear Sirs,
Regarding BWOL's map showing "Sea of Japan" instead of "East Sea" have been solved. The editorial department put a note next to the map. You may check this link: Go to: http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_51/b3712241.htm We hope this solves yours and the Korean's concerns. We also hope you can inform the Korean and do not need to forward this message anymore. Thank you. Yours sincerely.

- Ava Chan Customer Service BusinessWeek,
Asian edition

1. We'll correct any errors in the next printing of the material.
This is the response I received from our editorial vice president. If you need anything further, please let meknow. While this department values accuracy, we are very careful to follow established and accepted names, terms, etc. For example, we follow National Geographic's style for names on maps because of our partnership with that group. Some people or groups may disagree with that, but is it the standard we follow. Does this person/or group have a particular concern about a Glencoe Social Studies program? If he or she does, we'll be happy to correct any errors in the next printing of the material.

Sincerely, Susan Hanrahan
McGraw-Hill Companies

2. The Korea and China's maps have been corrected
Thank you for your email regarding the maps of the Chinese Dynasties on The Minneapolis Institute of Arts website. We appreciate your calling the problem to our attention. The maps have been corrected to show the existing boarder between Korea and China. Thank you for your interest.

Lisa Vecoli
Community Relations Manager
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

1. Our mistake that we marked Korea as China's territory, it has now been corrected.
Thank you for alerting us to the error on our website - it has now been corrected. Our designer inadvertently made the mistake that went undetected in our normal review process. My apologies for having offended you.

Regards, Nicole Frost External Affairs

2. From our perspective, this matter is now resolved

To the People of South Korea and Elsewhere,
We were recently alerted that there was controversial information appearing on one of the world maps we host on behalf of a client organization. Neither our client nor Latitude Geographics were aware that any contentious information appeared on this map of the world. Given that Latitude Geographics remains impartial regarding controversial geopolitical issues, we have responded by simply removing all labels/information associated with these islands from appearing on the map. Until this dispute is resolved satisfactorily between the Republic of Korea and Japan, we are choosing to not label these islands at all.

- Yours truly, Steven Myhill-Jones
President & CEO l Latitude Geographics Group.

Regards, Nicole Frost External Affairs

3. Mapping error has now been corrected.
Thank you for your enquiry and apologies for the delay in replying. Please note that this mapping error has now been corrected. We fully appreciate the history behind the islands of Ulleungdo and Dokdo, and would like to reassure you that this was a mistake and was not politically motivated. Please accept our most sincere apologies for any offence caused by this.

Kind regards,
Goobi, Goobi Kyazze
Client Services Representative