Virginia governor signs East Sea naming bill into lawUpdated: 2014-04-03 21:55:31 (KST)
From here on out, when students in the U.S. state of Virginia learn about the body of water that separates Korea and Japan, they'll learn to call it by two names: the East Sea and Sea of Japan.
The Voice of Korean Americans says Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed into law a landmark bill on the East Sea name.
McAuliffe's approval was long anticipated, as he was believed to be against the bill, at least initially.
The law that takes effect on July 1st requires all textbooks in the state Virginia to identify the body of water by its Korean name, the "East Sea" and its Japanese name, the "Sea of Japan."
The Japanese government had put in massive lobbying efforts to block the "East Sea" bill from getting approval.
The campaign started with the Voice of Korean Americans.
It says the name "Sea of Japan" is a cruel reminder of Japan's imperialist past as the name was registered when the Korean peninsula was under Japanese colonial rule.
Virginia is the first U.S. state to pass such a bill and it will likely have implications on other states in the U.S.
Seven states currently use the same textbook as Virginia.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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