Public schools; textbooks approved by BOE shall note Sea of Japan is also referred to as East Sea. (HB11)

Introduced By

Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville) with support from 8 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Barbara Comstock (R-McLean), Del. Tag Greason (R-Potomac Falls), Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna), Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-Oak Hill), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon), Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Public school textbooks; East Sea. Requires all textbooks approved by the Board of Education to note that the Sea of Japan is also referred to as the East Sea. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


11/18/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14
11/18/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14100726D
11/18/2013Referred to Committee on Education
01/10/2014Assigned Education sub: Elementary and Secondary Education
01/30/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 4-N)
02/03/2014Reported from Education with amendment (19-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2014Read first time
02/05/2014Read second time
02/05/2014Committee amendment agreed to
02/05/2014Engrossed by House as amended HB11E
02/05/2014Printed as engrossed 14100726D-E
02/06/2014Passed by temporarily
02/06/2014Read third time and passed House (81-Y 15-N)
02/06/2014VOTE: PASSAGE (81-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2014Constitutional reading dispensed
02/07/2014Referred to Committee on Education and Health
03/04/2014Left in Education and Health


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 32 minutes.


toshi writes:

We have really fed up with Koreans since quite long time.

-A huge debt requirment without the reliance to return.
-The Buddha statue of a national treasure is stolen and a defiant attitude is assumed.
-Technology is stolen and it is considered as the thing of a its own country company (like Apple case).
-It insists its own country origin on the traditional culture and the martial art of Japanese ancient times.
-Many business trip prostitutes (needless to say, for USA, Canada, Australia, Europe futher to Japan. are they called 'confort lady' later on ?)
-Many offenders in Japan (include 'Yakuza')
-The extortion gathering for reasons of the past (keep 1,000 years, as they say)
-Much insults to the Imperial Household (never from other any country in the world)
-etc, etc

We have been patient for their countless acts of barbarism,
Neither their lie nor slander nor agry political propagandas.

But now it is already a limit.

If we think "Koreans are insane", there will also be no anger, but it cannot overlook affecting it all over the world with a their tool called a 'lie'.

It is expected that the world is not confused by their compulsive lying.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

And away we go.

juank writes:

"East Sea" is not an international name for the sea.
It's a local name used only in South Korea.
The United States should not assist this kind of political propaganda to satisfy their nationalism.

May writes:

Meh, no one in the world recognizes the Sea of Japan as "East Sea" except for Korea. There had never been a fact it was called "East Sea" crap until Koreans started calling it "East Sea" in a quite recent year. It'll be just such an embarrassing bill not only in America, but also in the world. The Sea of Japan would not exist without Japan, therefore, it is called the Sea of Japan. Period.

May writes:

*The Sea of Japan would not exist without Japan, therefore, it is called the Sea of Japan. Period.

Without Japan, the Sea of Japan would be just Pacific Ocean, therefore, it is called the Sea of Japan. Period.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

For those folks mystified by this, see the "Sea of Japan Naming Dispute" Wikipedia entry.

The short version is that this body of water is bordered by Russia, Japan, and North & South Korea.* Russia calls it the Japanese Sea, Japan calls it the Sea of Japan, North Korea calls it the East Sea of Korea, and South Korea calls it the East Sea. Arguments for various names are rooted in history, proximity, geography, and clarity. There's an international governing body that sets the names of bodies of water, and they call it the Sea of Japan, and have not been interested in renaming it as Korea wants. The U.S. calls it the Sea of Japan, and doesn't footnote that in any way.

We went through this in 2012 with Sen. Dave Marsden's SB200, which made the same proposal. The bill immediately failed in committee.

* For irony's sake, note that neither North nor South Korea call themselves North or South Korea, as we call them here in the U.S.

Sun writes:

"East Sea", Japan and China, Taiwan, Russia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and these countries never call.
Many of these countries call, "East China Sea" is "East Sea".
Even North Korea is not called East Sea.
Except for South Korea, all countries recognize the Sea of Japan.
It is very strange that the country which is not a party concerned determines a name.
The very foolish.

from Japan writes:

Movement which changes the "Sea of Japan" into the "east sea" is just an one of anti-Japanese propaganda by a South Korea.
The USA should not participate.

T writes:

WHat is East Sea?

This problem has a conclusion in IHO.
The United States recognizes it as the Sea of Japan formally.
Why does this problem happen in an American state?
It is a Korean opinion not the United States.Where gone to American peoples it had proud and fair ?

Jun Yamamoto writes:


The low is not only challenging the U.S govwerment policy, but also inducing the discord among any countries.China goverment has already resisterd the name of East Sea as East China Sea in the International Hydrogragraphic Organization(IHO) which decides the name of international hydrographic maps.
Just now,Japan Sea is only admitted by IHO and US goverment.In view of this situation,this low causes chirdren to learn a wrong knowledge.
Until chenge the name in the US goverment and IHO,the low should be rejected.

M.Y writes:

Why should learn our chirdren a false fact?

Longstanding US policy is "Sea of Japan"

The evidence is

KH writes:

The White House officially said that it is US's longstanding policy to refer it as "Sea of Japan."

Why does Virginia have to teach its kids something different?

It is SO obvious that this bill was brought in to gain votes from the Korean people. Do not have our children get involved in politics!!!

KH writes:


On 26 April 2012, the International Hydrographic Organization announced that it had decided to use only "Sea of Japan" in its governing publication Limits of Oceans and Seas and rejected the alternative use of "East Sea" as proposed by South Korea.

Russia calls this sea "Япо́нское мо́ре" (Yapónskoye móre, Japanese Sea). Chinese government websites exclusively use the name 日本海 (rìběnhǎi, Japan Sea). In 2003, the French Defense Ministry issued nautical maps that included both terms Sea of Japan and East Sea. It reverted to Sea of Japan as a single name in the map issued in 2004. The United Kingdom and Germany officially use the Sea of Japan.


So, other than "Koreans' preference", what are the reasons for calling it as East Sea that obviously divert from the rest of the world?

robert legge writes:

Does the General Assembly really need to get involved in this?

Yasuyuki Nagai writes:

If you have common sence"Sea of Japan" this is it!!

Valkyrie writes:

It would be educational if the textbook introduces this as one of the examples how people name things in a variety of field. For instance, the textbook could explain how the names of comets/asteroids are determined in astronomy. It would also be interesting to introduce how gene names are changing over time in biomedical research.

Geological naming is somewhat similar to gene naming. A researcher who finds a new gene usually names it, but if there are more genes with similar structure and function found later, researchers would rename them and add numbers after the common name for each gene. Sometimes a few different names representing the same gene circulate for a while and the most popular one survives later regardless of who found that gene first.

However, in this case, it is an absolute nonsense to add “AKA” names. Each country calls the sea in different way. To be fair, you should refer all names from different countries something like:

Sea of Japan (Sea of Korea / Sea of Corea / East Sea)
Yellow Sea (West Sea)
East China Sea (East Sea / South Sea)
South China Sea (South Sea / East Sea)

There are three “East Sea” and two “South Sea” in this area!
And Japan calls certain regions of the main island of Japan “East Sea” and “South Sea”.

If this issue were raised again and again in this state, it would grab more public attention and may shed light on the dark side of this issue.

Senators and congresspersons, if the law passes, would you really be able to tell your kids and grand kids that you did this purely for their education? Please do not lie to yourself.

Thank you for reading.

Hidekazu Takiuchi writes:

I absolutely oppose this bill, because the name of Japan See has been recognized all over the world from the middle of 19 century.

Pakku Rareman writes:

American Continents should be called Pocahontas Continents if the Sea of Japan is to be called "East Sea."

Don't Open the Pandora's Box!!!

Please don't help create conflicts all over the world.

Korean activists are trying to rename the Sea of Japan into East Sea. This propaganda will create numerous conflicts all over the world. If the Sea of Japan have to be called East Sea, the North American Continent and the South American Continent may have to be called, for example, the North/South Pocahontas Continents.

Imagine how many people will become furious if a name of a sea that bear their country's/ethnic name was forced to be changed?

Beside the danger of conflict creation, the name of the Sea of Japan has nothing to do with the Imperial Japan.

The name was established by countries OTHER THAN JAPAN in as early as 19th Century well before the WWII. In 19th Century Japan was a closed country and Japan was internationally in-active and there was no way for Japan to influence the naming. Therefore, the claim that Korean says that the Imperial Japan forced to change the name of East Sea to Japan Sea is a total fabrication.

There are so many seas, lands, etc. that bear a country's name. If you support Korean propaganda, many other ethnic groups will raise their voices and demand the USA to change the names of seas, lands, rivers, etc. Shown below are some examples of names that have countries' names with them.

Please do not help harass Japan/Japanese.

Here is a link to an academic paper that explains the Japan's position to support the naming of the Sea of Japan.
At least you MUST read the paper before you cast a vote to be held responsible.


---Examples of names that have a country's name with it----

North America Continent
South America Continent
Korea Strait
Gulf of Oman
Persian Gulf (Gulf of Iran)
Taiwan Strait
Timor Sea
English Channel
East China Sea
South China Sea
Gulf of Mexico
Burma Sea
Arabian Sea
Celtic Sea
East Indian Archipelago
Great Australian Bight
Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Thailand
Iceland Sea
Indian Ocean
Ionian Sea
Irish Sea
Malacca and Singapore Straits
Norwegian Sea
Philippine Sea
Strait of Sicilia

Kito writes:

First of all, I apology to comment here that is originally provided for Virginians, but I would like you to understand our concern and thus leave the comment here.

After you change or rewite the name of the sea from the Sea of Japan to East Sea, I believe that Korean would require you to add Comfort Women and sex slaves issue as next requirement to your school textbooks, even though this issue is controversy with Japan and its rightfulness is not discussed and justiced yet. How do you think their behavior? When we counter their allegations such as Comfort women, they only say 'It's raving' and would never provide convictive proofs while we Japanese has so many proofs that can counter their allegations. They just keep on issuing their allegation unilaterally and high-handedly everywhere on globe with posterity-created creations, statues and also photos, vidoes, documents that provenance, video- and photo-shooting dates are unknown. Don't you think something is wrong?
After Comfort women descriptioin, Korean may request you unilaterally to write Takeshima/Dok-do belongs to Korea, according to Democracy principal - a mass of Korean residents.

Chris Kuchma writes:

This is a very bad legal precedent...

Read why with my published op-ed "Drafting American school children in a diplomatic war" @