Funny thing about this Chosun-Ilbo article on the decision of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to change the official U.S. government designation of Dokdo/Takeshima to the neutral "Liancourt Rocks" and alter the status of the islets from a territory of the Republic of Korea to a new official political status of an "Undesignated Sovereignty."
The article suggests that Japanese pressure to change the status designation of the Northern Territories from Russian sovereignty to "undesignated sovereignty" bled into the ROK-Japan dispute over the islets, leading the U.S. to no longer support the ROK's claims to Dok-do/Takeshima.
Before anyone wets their shorts over this, either for or against, I suggest taking a trip to the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency's GNS server (http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmagaz/geonames4.asp) and searching any of these four names:
Interesting results, eh?
Danged Japanese influence. Now you see it. Now you don't.
The USBGN is a funny body. I know this because a few years back I emailed the United States Geological Survey's seismic disturbances officer after the USGS reported a large earthquake "off the Bonin Islands." I suggested that this was a darn peculiar designation to still be using 30 years after the reversion of the islands to Japanese sovereignty. In a very courteous written reply the officer explained that he had no control over the designation, that it was officially set, and that when the board that decided such things changed the designation he would of course comply with the new designation.
Later - Gosh this is fun. According to the GNS server, the Habomai-shotō and the Habomai Islands at 43°30' 00" N 146°10' 00" E are Russian territory but the Habomai-shotō and the Habomai Islands at 43°30' 00" N 146°10' 00" E are Japanese territory.
The barren island 250 meters off the Moroccan coast that the Spanish call Isla del Perejil, to which Spain sent commandos in 2002 to evict 6 occupying Moroccan troops, is actually the Moroccan island of Leila.
Take that Spain!
And as any right winger could tell you, there are no Diaoyutai Islands.
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