The Sea of Japan is a protected part of the Pacific Ocean
which is bordered by Japan
on the east, Russia
, North Korea
, and South Korea
on the west, the East China Sea
to the south through the Korea Strait
, the Sea of Okhotsk
to the north and the Pacific Ocean through the straits between the islands of Japan. About 405,000 square miles
or 1,048,950 square kilometers
of ocean surface are enclosed in the sea. While it is shallow in the north and south which is best for the fishing there, areas of the sea are deeper than 10,000 feet or 3,050 meters. A warm current from Japan helps fishing in the north, changes the climate of the immediate region and helps keep Vladivostok
the only ice-free port in eastern Russia.
An alternate name for the Sea of Japan is the East Sea which is a name promoted by South Korea, specifically VANK or the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea. To quote them,
"Using a proper name for the body of water between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago is not simply a question of changing the name of a geographical feature. It is rather a part of national effort by the Korean people to erase the legacy of their colonial past and to redress the unfairness that has resulted from it."
They have already succeed in convincing National Geographic
and Lonely Planet Publication
to use the designation of East Sea exclusively. More information about their campaign can be found here: http://www.prkorea.com/english/eastsea.html
Rosenberg, Matt. Sea of Japan vs. East Sea About.com. January 11, 2004. <http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa022402a.htm>.
"Japan, Sea of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
www.bartleby.com/65/. January 11, 2004.