East Sea name bill approved by Virginia legislature

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Thursday on using the name East Sea for the body of water between Korea and Japan.

The bill, approved in a 81-15 vote, calls for the Korean-version name to be added to all new public school textbooks in the state.

Currently, only the name Sea of Japan is used to identify the stretch of water, apparently a legacy of the country's colonization of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

If Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs it into law, the measure will go into effect on July 1. The governor promised not to veto the bill if it is endorsed by the General Assembly.

Virginia would become the first U.S. state to adopt such a dual-name policy.

The legislation passed the Virginia Senate last month.

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