IKEA, which is planning to open a store in South Korea, decided not to sell its Premiar world map that caused controversy in South Korea with the naming of the Sea of Japan.
IKEA announced on Dec. 4, “IKEA changes 20 percent of all the existing items to new ones each year,” adding, “As part of the change, Premiar will not be sold worldwide in 2015.”
“Premiar was developed for indoor decoration, not as an educational resource,” an IKEA representative said, adding, “We never intended to create such an upsetting situation. We apologize to customers and staff who felt uncomfortable owing to the controversy.”
IKEA created controversy by identifying the sea to the east of Korea as the Sea of Japan on its large world maps, which have been sold in the U.S., U.K. and all over the world.
Meanwhile, IKEA is planning to open its Kwangmyeong branch, the first store in South Korea, on Dec. 18.