I think this is what everyone expected would happen when the IHO took up this issue:
The body of water to the east of the Korean peninsula will continue to be a source of frustration for South Koreans and a sensitive subject for U.S. military officials.
The international organization in charge of naming water bodies around the world this week rejected South Korea’s request that the Sea of Japan be alternately known as the East Sea.
“Our country asserted that both names be used … but Japan insisted that only the term ‘Sea of Japan’ be used,” according to an official with the South’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “Other countries advised us that the two countries should come to some sort of agreement to resolve the issue.”
But the International Hydrographic Organizationdoes not meet again until 2017, meaning Sea of Japan will continue to be recognized as the sole designation for the body of water that separates Japan and the Korean peninsula, much to the dismay of South Koreans.
“It’s just a matter of time,” said the ministry official, who requested his name not be used. “We know we will eventually get the IHO member countries’ support on the issue.
“When they see the historical reasons, the international practices and the fact that the term ‘East Sea’ is being used a lot in reality, we think using both terms … will eventually be approved,” he continued. “We’ll keep trying until we succeed.” [Stars & Stripes]
Fortunately the IHO doesn’t meet again for another 5 years which means this issue should hopefully go away for a while once again. You can read more about what this issue is really all about at this prior posting.