Sea of Japan: Wikis


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Sea of Japan (East Sea)
Map showing the location of the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
Map showing the location of the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
Japanese name
Kanji 日本海
Hiragana にほんかい
Hepburn Nihonkai
English: Japan Sea
North Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 조선동해
Hancha 朝鮮東海
McCune-Reischauer Chosŏn Tonghae
Revised Romanization Joseon Donghae
English: Korea East Sea
South Korean name
Hangul 동해
Hanja 東海
Revised Romanization Donghae
McCune-Reischauer Tonghae
English: East Sea
Russian name
Cyrillic Япо́нское мо́ре
Romanization Yapónskoye móre
English: Japanese Sea

The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, bordered by Japan, South Korea, North Korea and Russia. It is referred to in North Korea as the Korea East Sea and in South Korea as the East Sea.[1][2] Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure.[3] There is currently a dispute at the United Nations over its official name.



Sea of Japan

The Sea of Japan is bound by the Russian mainland and Sakhalin island to the north, the Korean Peninsula to the west, and the Japanese islands of Hokkaidō, Honshū, and Kyūshū to the east.

It is connected to other seas by five shallow straits: the Strait of Tartary between the Asian mainland and Sakhalin; La Perouse Strait between the islands of Sakhalin and Hokkaidō; the Tsugaru Strait between the islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū; the Kanmon Straits between the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū; and the Korea Strait (genkainada) between the Korean Peninsula and the island of Kyūshū. The Korea Strait is composed of the Western Channel and the Tsushima Strait, on either side of Tsushima Island.

  • Deepest point: 3,742 meters below sea level
  • Mean depth: 1,753 meters
  • Surface area: about 978,000 km²

The sea has three major basins: the Yamato Basin in the southeast; the Japan Basin in the north; and the Tsushima Basin (Ulleung Basin) in the southwest. The Japan Basin has the deepest areas of the sea, while the Tsushima Basin has the shallowest.

On the eastern shores, the continental shelves of the sea are wide, but on the western shores, particularly along the Korean coast, they are narrow, averaging about 30 kilometres wide.

The Tsushima Warm Current, a branch of Kuroshio Current, flows northward through the Korea Strait along the Japanese shore, and the Liman Cold Current flows southward through the Strait of Tartary along the Russian shore.

The Sea of Japan was once a landlocked sea when the land bridge of East Asia existed.[4]



The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the "Japan Sea" as follows:[5]

On the Southwest. The Northeastern limit of the Eastern China Sea [From Nomo Saki (32°35'N) in Kyusyu to the South point of Hukae Sima (Goto Retto) and on through this island to Ose Saki (Cape Goto) and to Hunan Kan, the South point of Saisyu To (Quelpart), through this island to its Western extreme and thence along the parallel of 33°17' North to the mainland] and the Western limit of the Inland Sea [defined circuitously as "The Southeastern limit of the Japan Sea"].

On the Southeast. In Simonoseki Kaikyo. A line running from Nagoya Saki (130°49'E) in Kyûsû through the islands of Uma Sima and Muture Simia (33°58',5N) to Murasaki Hana (34°01'N) in Honsyû.

On the East. In the Tsugaru Kaikô. From the extremity of Siriya Saki (141°28'E) to the extremity of Esan Saki (41°48'N).

On the Northeast. In La Perouse Strait (Sôya Kaikyô). A line joining Sôni Misaki and Nishi Notoro Misaki (45°55'N).

On the North. From Cape Tuik (51°45'N) to Cape Sushcheva.


The areas in the north and the southeast are rich fishing grounds. The importance of the fishery in the sea is well illustrated by the dispute between South Korea and Japan over Liancourt Rocks. The sea is also important for its mineral deposits, particularly magnetite sands. There are also believed to be natural gas and petroleum fields. With the growth of East Asian economies, the Sea of Japan has become an increasingly important commercial waterway.

Naming dispute

There is a dispute over using the name "Sea of Japan".

The use of the term "Sea of Japan" as the dominant appellation is a point of contention.

  • the Japanese claim that it was commonly adopted during the early 19th century
  • the Koreans claim that the change was imposed during the Japanese Occupation (early 20th century - with an official validation in 1929[6]), and that unlike most other names changes forced during that period, it was never reverted afterward.

Both South Korea and North Korea have advocated for the end of what they consider a colonial heritage:

  • South Korea wants the "East Sea" name to be restored,[7] and claims that the "Sea of Japan" appellation is not anterior to the "Sea of Korea / Korean Sea" appellation.[6][8]
  • North Korea wants the "East Sea of Korea" name to be restored.[9][10]

As a result of Korean objections to the name "Sea of Japan," some English-language publications refer to it as "Sea of Japan (East Sea)," incorporating a version of the Korean name.[11][12]

On August 27, 2007, both Korean states made separate proposals to the Ninth Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names instituted by the United Nations. The conference made no decision on the issue but called on all parties to find a commonly accepted solution. The chairman of the session stated that "individual countries could not impose specific names on the international community and standardization could only be promoted when a consensus existed."[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ "S Korea bid to solve sea dispute". BBC News. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-17. "South Korea calls it the East Sea"  
  2. ^ "Report on the Progress in Consultations on the Naming of the Sea Area between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (South Korea). 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2008-02-17. "the sea area has been consistently called "East Sea" in Korea"  
  3. ^ "Tides in Marginal, Semi-Enclosed and Coastal Seas - Part I: Sea Surface Height". ERC-Stennis at Mississippi State University. Retrieved 2007-02-02.  
  4. ^ Totman, Conrad D. (2004). "Pre-Industrial Korea and Japan in Environmental Perspective". Retrieved 2007-02-02.  
  5. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 30 December 2009.  
  6. ^ a b East Sea or "Sea of Japan"
  7. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. East Sea.
  8. ^ Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries 2005. The Name East Sea Used for Two Millennia.
  9. ^ On Correcting the Inscription of "Sea of Japan" (8th and 9th UNCSGN)
  10. ^ Efforts of the Government of Japan in Response to the Issue of the Name of the Sea of Japan (1) The 8th UNCSGN, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  11. ^ Sea of Japan and East Sea map information page
  12. ^ Sea of Japan vs. East Sea
  13. ^ Report of the 9th UNCSGN, 2007
  14. ^ Kyodo News, "Despite Korean efforts, geographic conference backs Sea of Japan name," The Japan Times, 29 Aug 07, [1]

External links

Coordinates: 39°34′55″N 134°34′11″E / 39.58194°N 134.56972°E / 39.58194; 134.56972


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:




Map with the Sea of Japan.

Proper noun

Sea of Japan


Sea of Japan

  1. A body of water between Japan and the Asian continent.



Simple English

File:Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan

The Sea of Japan is a sea in the western Pacific Ocean. It is between Korea to the west, Russia to the north and Japan to the east and south. Different countries have different names for the body of water. North Korea calls it East Korea Sea.[1][2]

Arguments about the name

International Hydrographic Organization(IHO) decided to call this sea area "Sea of Japan" in 1929.

Since 1992, South Korea demands the world to use the names "East Sea" or "Sea of Korea" instead of "Sea of Japan". South Korea argues that this sea area has been called "East Sea" since early times. It is also a Korean belief that the name "East Sea" was eliminated from the maps of the world in the early 20th century while South Korea was under the rule of Japan.

On the contrary, Japan says that the name "Sea of Japan" has been used more widely than "East Sea" in Europe and America since before the 18th century. Japan also points out that if there was no Japan, there would be no sea.

Most international maps use "Sea of Japan".


  1. "S Korea bid to solve sea dispute". BBC News. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-17. "South Korea calls it the East Sea" 
  2. "Report on the Progress in Consultations on the Naming of the Sea Area between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (South Korea). 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2008-02-17. "the sea area has been consistently called "East Sea" in Korea" 

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