Keeping a campaign promise he wished would go away, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the East Sea bill, reports the Washington Post.
The bill requires text books in Virginia to acknowledge that the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea.
Korean Americans consider the name Sea of Japan as a reminder of Japanese imperialism.
But since making the pledge, McAuliffe received heavy lobbying from the Japanese government which warned the bill could jeopardize economic ties between Virginia and Japan, a key trading partner.
McAuliffe had lobbied for the bill to die, but when it passed both houses, he said he would keep his promise.