In a press conference here on Friday, deputy for maritime sovereignty of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Arif Havas Oegroseno, stated that the naming was adjusted to be in line with a number of oil and gas management activities conducted in the region.
So far, a number of oil and gas exploration projects have been using the names of North Natuna, South Natuna, or North East Natuna.
"In order to create a clarity or similarity between the continental shelf and the overlying water column, the national team has agreed that the water column should be called North Natuna Sea," Oegroseno noted.
Based on the old map of 1953 edition of Indonesia, South China Sea was pictured almost close to the Java Sea area.
The end of Java Sea that borders the Karimata Strait based on the map was still in South China Sea classification.
However, the government has been updating the data by classifying the 1953 map as an old document and by entering new names in some parts of the archipelago.
According to Oegroseno, the name of the Natuna Sea had been set in 2002 although the name had been used since oil and gas explorations in 1970s.
He added that the government has an authority to name every area in the countrys territory. For the purpose of international official registration, the process will be carried out through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
"Indeed, we need to continue updating the naming of the sea and report to the United Nations about the borders. This (system) would allow the international community to know whose territory they pass through," he remarked.
He explained that its naming as South China Sea was according to the name on the world map.
"In the past, there was a presidential decree on Chinas name replacement to Tiongkok. We did not replace it but it returned to the international name because it was intended for the country and the name of the peoples descent. Hence, it was not very relevant to the name of the sea," he concluded.
The Indonesian government set the reform of the countrys map after a series of discussions since Oct 2016.
The map of NKRI 2017, which was determined by 21 representatives of relevant ministries and agencies, includes some changes and improvements to the development of international law, as well as the setting of maritime boundaries with neighboring countries.(*)