We call ‘Sea of Japan’ by that name, MEA tells Tokyo

In an attempt to address the concerns raised by Tokyo, India on Tuesday said New Delhi has not changed its policy on the Sea of Japan and calls it by that name only.

As reported by The Indian Express on Monday, Tokyo had lodged a protest with New Delhi against the Survey of India not indicating 'Sea of Japan' on its maps by that name. India's official map-making agency, the Survey of India, has omitted naming the water body in its English version, though the Hindi one calls the area 'Japan Sagar'.

"Yes, it was raised and we have reiterated our policy on the matter," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin — while responding to The Indian Express report — told reporters.

"Now as far as India is concerned, there is no change in our policy on addressing the water body by the name we have always addressed it, and that name is, for the record, Sea of Japan," he said. Sources said the MEA is unlikely to pursue the matter with the Survey of India.

The reason for Japan taking offence is that the name 'Sea of Japan' is a bone of contention between it and the Koreas. While Seoul prefers the name 'East Sea' to be used instead of or in addition to 'Sea of Japan', North Korea wants to call it 'East Sea of Korea'.

It was last month that Japan noticed this "discrepancy" in the Survey of India's English map and brought it to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs. It also plans to take up the matter with the Surveyor General of India.

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