There are a couple bills making their way through the Virginia General Assembly, one patroned by Tim Hugo in the House and one by Dave Marsden in the Senate that would mandate that textbooks in Virginia public schools include the term "East Sea" as an alternative designation for the Sea of Japan. It seems that Korea calls it the East Sea, not the Sea of Japan. Marsden and Hugo both have a large Korean American population in their districts, and no doubt they think this is good politics back home.
My view, I don’t think the General Assembly should be playing ethnic politics; make foreign policy, and they certainly should not be editing text books.
Now, according to the Washington Post the Japanese Ambassador had come to Richmond to meet with the Governor to argue against the legislation. In addition my fellow blogger Rick Sincere discovered that the Japanese Embassy has hired McGuire Woods consulting to lobby against the bills, being paid $25,000 a month for a minimum of three months.
The Marsden's bill passed the Senate but it seems that Hugo's bill is stalled in the House. The Senate version has been referred to the House education committee.
Sincere also reported that the Korean Ambassador would also be coming to Richmond to argue in support of the bill.