Korea and Japan have been on a battle on the petition board [We the People] of the White House website regarding the issue of naming the East Sea, on the 21st of April. The battle has sparked criticism from Japanese netizens against the marking of East Sea, which has since spread rapidly online.
There is a continuous stream of posts on the website 2ch (www.2ch.net) reproaching the petition from Korea to mark the Sea as the East Sea. This website is an anonymous online community with the largest number of simultaneous log-ins in the world.
A Japanese netizen claimed that ‘it is dogmatic of Korea to mark the sea as East Sea, as nowhere else in the East Asia – including Japan, Taiwan and China – refer to it as the East Sea.’
Another netizen rolled out some raw insults, saying that Korea has little influence on the international community, and the East Sea would have been called the Pacific Ocean if Japan didn’t exist.
There were also posts against the name East Sea that instead suggested using the name ‘Gyeong-Hae’, one of the archaic names for the East Sea.
The writer explained that Gyeong-Hae would be suitable, because Japan can accept it as an old name and Korea could approve it since the name doesn’t include the word ‘Japan.’
Japanese netizens are generating a similar stream of criticism on SNS in the country.
A picture file explaining how to sign up on the petition opposing East Sea mark is spreading rapidly on Twitter, and the message encouraging participation in the petition is getting retweeted constantly.
‘Koreans argue that they have called it East Sea since before Christ, but I don’t think they could have grasped the shape of Sea of Japan. Even if they did know [what it looked like], they would have merely called it East Sea only up to the boundary visible to them, not too far from the shore,’ a Japanese Twitter user argued.
Another Twitter user made an absurd comment, saying ‘I don’t know my geography very well, but wasn’t the East Sea originally part of Japanese territory?’
Comments from Naver:
"Ridiculous jerks… The land you guys are living in was originally Korean. We sympathetic Koreans lent the land to you out of pity for your homeless situation, and now you say something is yours when it is not? Vulgar and ignorant people, if you keep insisting, we will bury you at sea. We don’t need the island you guys live in. It’s a piece of land that will be gone anyway without leaving a mark when an earthquake strikes it… It’s easier for us, as things are done without our input. Don’t ask us to forgive and help you out when that happens. Your species should be exterminated completely! It delights me just to think about it. Goodbye, Japan."
"Hey, look, it dumbfounds me to listen to you… Let me summarise this. What does ‘originally’ mean in history, anyway? Does it then make sense [for us] to say, ‘Give us back that land because it was conquered by the King Gwang-gae-to, so it belongs to South Korea,’ huh? Should I blame the sheer nonsense that you are spitting out to the radioactivity or what… I am Korean, but Korean netizens shouldn’t just swear [at the Japanese]. We don’t have to lower ourselves to their standards! Let’s criticize them intelligently. It’s not difficult to beat the Japanese monkeys without swearing at them."
"Give me just one reason why Japan shouldn’t be treated like a dog."
"Animals are known to respond when they feel a natural disaster coming."