Major Korean telecommunications carrier KT has released a commercial that advocates erasing “Sea of Japan” from the map and replacing it with “East Sea.”
The commercial is being broadcast in Korea and seems to be made in partnership with the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a non-governmental organization which was created by students with the aim of “helping the world get to know of Korea” with members acting as “cyber diplomats” to spread the word about their country.
The commercial starts: “The youth group VANK is providing information to the world about things like the name of the East Sea and the history of the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo. A healthy Internet environment becomes a great source of strength, and we become one country.”
A young student appears and throws a paper airplane which finds its way to Australia where a group of students stare in wonder as the Sea of Japan vanishes and is replaced by the East Sea: “The world’s largest international textbook and travel guide publishing company Dorling Kindersley has decided to include the name ‘East Sea’ with ‘Sea of Japan’ in their textbooks!”
The commercial ends by explaining that KT hopes to keep this trend going: “97% of the world uses the term ‘Sea of Japan’—that also means 3% of the world’s maps now use ‘East Sea!’ The proud Internet of our country will become our strength.”
The naming of the Sea of Japan has been a source of contention between Japan and Korea for years, and many citizens in both countries feel strongly about the issue.