Whose Name Would You Use?

While this may look like a classic case of diplomacy and geopolitical posturing, it does touch on the craft of technical writing.

Japan and South Korea are involved in a naming dispute that centers around what is called the Sea of Japan. All of the maps in use by the United States Military reference this body of water as the Sea of Japan. But Korea wants it to be known, alternatively, as the East Sea.

As a technical writer, working on a project that might involve this dispute, I think it would be imperative to acknowledge the facts of this dispute and act accordingly. A client might prefer to use the East Sea--or a client might want that avoided altogether. Staying up on cultural and political topics is essential to being prepared for disputes and controversies.