Korea to Face Off With Japan Over Maritime Place-Names

Korea and Japan are both preparing to have the geographical names of disputed areas internationally recognized in their own language next year. From as early as next year, the decision making process of the International Hydrographic Organizations Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) will be changed from unanimous call to majority vote. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said Sunday it decided to demand modification of names of undersea sites near the Dokdo Islets. Until now, the Korean government abstained from such a move, fearing that it would be rejected because of the single Japanese member on the 12-member committee. The Ulleung Basin, a submarine site 50 km east of Yeongdeok County in North Gyeongsang Province, is internationally called the Tsushima Basin. The Isabu Tablemount near the Ulleung Basin is also listed as Syun-yo Bank in the Gazetteer, the international geographical directory.

The government also plans to push for registration of names of two other places near Dokdo which are yet to be listed internationally. This is likely to cause a clash with Japan. The Korean government tried to submit a proposal to have 14 names approved — including the four controversial sites — in last years 20th meeting of the subcommittee. The Japanese strongly protested, and Korea dropped the four from the proposal.

However, the Korean government now says it is confident to draw a favorable decision from the committee next year, as the decision making process has changed and Korea has more geographical records and information on the region.

(englishnews@chosun.com )

http://english.chosun.com [The Chosun Ilbo & Digital Chosun Ilbo] | Original News @ HERE
Date : May. 26. 2008

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