Sea of Japan is a marginal
sea of the western Pacific Ocean, bordered by Japan, South Korea, North
Korea and Russia.
referred to in North Korea as the Korea East Sea and in
Korea as the East Sea.
Sea, it has almost no tides due to
its nearly complete enclosure.
There is currently a dispute
at the United Nations
over its official name.
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
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
Strait between the islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū; the
Straits between the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū; and the
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
Sea of Japan
- Deepest point: 3,742 meters below sea
- Mean depth: 1,753 meters
- Surface area: about 978,000 km²
The sea has three major basins
in the southeast; the Japan Basin
the north; and the Tsushima 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
The Sea of Japan was once a landlocked
sea when the land bridge
of East Asia
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
fields. With the growth of East Asian
economies, the Sea of Japan has become an increasingly important
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), 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, and
claims that the "Sea of Japan" appellation is not anterior to the
"Sea of Korea / Korean Sea" appellation.
- North Korea wants the "East Sea of Korea" name to be
As a result of Korean objections to the name "Sea of Japan," some
to it as "Sea of Japan (East Sea)," incorporating a version of the
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
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."
- East Sea or "Sea of Japan"
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. East
- Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries 2005. The Name
East Sea Used for Two Millennia.
- On Correcting the Inscription of "Sea of Japan"
(8th and 9th UNCSGN)
- 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
- Sea of Japan and East Sea map information
- Sea of Japan vs. East Sea
- Report of the 9th UNCSGN, 2007
- Kyodo News,
"Despite Korean efforts, geographic conference backs Sea of Japan
name," The Japan Times, 29 Aug 07,