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Japanese embassy lobbies to stop 'East Sea' bill

Updated: 2014-02-03 22:08:57 KST
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This is a service contract between McGuireWoods, one of the biggest lobbying firms in the United States, and the Japanese embassy in the U.S.
The contract contains various ways to stop Virginia's General Assembly from passing a bill that would allow textbooks to note the "Sea of Japan" is also called "East Sea."
The bill, which was passed last Thursday, is important to the large Korean-American community in Virginia, who see the current sole designation of the body of water between Korea and Japan as "Sea of Japan," as a painful relic of Japanese occupation back in the first half of the 20th century.
The contract includes ways to explain why calling the body of water "East Sea" is wrong and also planned to form protests against the Korean-American community calling for the adoption of the new title.
The contract also included ways to make the new governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe veto the bill IF it did pass the full House.
The documents actually revealed that Japan's ambassador Kenichiro Sasae had already sent a letter to McAuliffe in December, threatening that economic ties between Japan and Virginia will be damaged IF the bill was enacted.
It's highly unusual for a foreign embassy to be actively involved in a local state's legislation, so the findings are expected to cause quite a stir.
Despite the Japanese embassy's efforts, that cost them 75-thousand U.S. dollars over the span of three months, the bill was passed last week by a House education subcommittee and it now heads to the full House education committee.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Pat Mullins, says his party supports the bill, adding that all students in Virginia should have a thorough understanding of problems in the world.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.


Reporter : Lian.yoo@arirang.co.kr

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