As suggested by its Secretary-General, the International Hydrographic Organization has officially decided to use numbers rather than names when referring to seas on its charts.
Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday that the decision has been officially confirmed.
The IHO's chart of sea names, a document known as "S-23," will be replaced by a new chart called "S-130" that will conform to the new rule.
From now on, at the IHO, the body of water between South Korea and Japan will no longer be called the 'Sea of Japan,.
South and North Korea believe that using only the name 'Sea of Japan,' as had been done on S-23, is a reflection of Tokyo's past imperialism, because the sea was officially named in the 1920s when the Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan.
Since 1997, Seoul has been pushing to have 'East Sea' used as a co-equal name, and the two Koreas and Japan started discussing the issue in 2017, but little progress was made.
The IHO has made it clear that S-23 no longer serves as a valid standard but is available only as a publication.
Diplomatic sources in Seoul say the latest decision has eliminated the grounds on which Tokyo had claimed 'Sea of Japan' is the only valid name.
Seoul's foreign ministry said South Korea will actively participate in creating the new standard, S-100, which will include S-130 and other related standards.
It added it will continue efforts to ensure that the name 'East Sea' is used widely on the international stage.
"We will do our utmost so that 'East Sea' can also be used widely online. Digital diplomacy has been especially active amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will be linking our efforts to digital diplomacy."
Also during the meeting, South Korea suggested establishing an IHO e-learning center, and the idea was agreed by consensus.
The platform aims to develop e-learning guidelines and run virtual learning programs for the IHO member countries.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.