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Japan takes issue with Google maps over disputed islands

47 Comments

Japan has asked local authorities and state-run universities not to post Google maps on their websites because some of them use non-Japanese names for disputed islands, reports said Sunday.

The disputed territory includes the South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, and the Japan-held Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by China as the Diaoyus, the Sports Nippon tabloid reported.

The Russian-held islands off Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, referred to by Japan as the Northern Territories, are also included, the paper said.

In notices issued earlier this year the Tokyo government said that "some registrations in the electronic maps on the home pages are incompatible with Japan's stance", Kyodo News agency reported.

It said the government recommends that public bodies use maps compiled by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, but it was unclear if they have followed the request because Google maps are apparently more convenient.

© (C) 2013 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
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Who exactly made this decree? Just saying "Japan" is not remotely sufficient.

Anyway, what a bunch of spoiled little whining babies. I am amazed that some act like this sort of behavior has no bearing on the Senkaku issue, and act like Japan is just totally in the right.

As I have pointed out before, there is a Japanese map from 1785 that gives those islands Chinese names. You can find it at Wiki in the Senkaku Islands dispute article. But of course don't tell the Japanese authorities because they will then try to block wiki!

5 ( +18 / -13 )

Whine whine whine. They don't have Japanese names for good reason -- they are not Japanese owned or administered.

-1 ( +24 / -25 )

Arguing about land ownership over 100 years ago and more is pointless. Even after WW1 and WW2 changed boarders quite a bit. Are those lands disputed? The Soviets and Chinese changed boundaries since th 1950's.

The Russians do occupy Japanese land unjustifiably and the Chinese want to control some of Japan's land.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Who exactly made this decree?

By the grammar used, it's obvious it was a person named Japan. Now who and what relevance he/she has is unknown as they gave us no background on this person. All we know for sure is that it wasn't a government agency because any respectable newspaper would of course include the name of the agency, and not just attribute a statement to the country in general... right?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan has asked local authorities and state-run universities not to post Google maps on their websites because some of them use non-Japanese names for disputed islands, reports said Sunday.

Is it just me, or does this just badly written?

"not to post Google maps on their websites because some of them use non-Japanese names for disputed islands"

Some of what? "Some of the Google Maps", doesn't make sense. Unless they are talking about country specific content.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Well, I know that this site badly needs clicks and whatever, but here's a video from 2011, from Japanese version of Google Maps making up the same story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNxsB1zw_q0

This thing came up few years ago and is still discussed in Japanese Internet from time to time. You wanted a heated discuss below this article as it brings the biggest number of clicks?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Read the article, folks. The "who" in this case was the central government in Tokyo. It says so in the 4th paragraph.

And it's not a decree. A decree implies that there is some sort of actionable order issued that leaves no room for disobedience. This isn't the case with the Google maps at all. It was a request. Words used in the article, like "asked" and "recommend," are a good indicator of this.

In any case, it's silly. Japan's territory disputes are not the world's territory disputes, and demanding that private business entities reflect Japan's geo-political stance comes across as more than a little petulant.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Fairytales for flag-wavers.

Are we really going to heed Sports Nippon?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese Senkaku Islands show up clearly on my version of google maps are are correctly named as "Senkaku Islands".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I now checked google map over Senkaku (Uozurijima) and Takeshima islands. You still can see Japanese names on these. It seems that there were no Japanese names temporarily.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Korea and China are jelly!!!!!!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Japan is angry and stomped out of the room and slammed the door behind him because Google map didn't have the name "Dokto" on an island where it should have had "Takeshima".

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Where are these "state-run universities"? I thought we were supposed to be autonomous and able to decide such matters for ourselves.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

kwatt: "I now checked google map over Senkaku (Uozurijima) and Takeshima islands"

They're called "Dokdo", not "Takeshima", because they are owned and administered by South Korea. You may not like it, but that's fact. Or wait... is there suddenly a 'dispute' in this case but no dispute with the Senkakus (and by the way, I believe the Japanese argument in terms of the latter is stronger than the Chinese, but it's still a dispute all the same). But for many of the same reasons Japan argues the Senkakus are theirs, Dokdo is South Korean and the Kuriles are Russian. At least in the latter cases people actually LIVE on the islands.

It would be a shame if Google altered their maps because of the whining of a few radicals.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

MarkGSep. 30, 2013 - 07:51AM JST The Russians do occupy Japanese land unjustifiably and the Chinese want to control some of Japan's land.

And South Korea continues to illegally occupy Takeshima. Interestingly Google Maps shows them as Takeshima, Shimane Prefecture. Good to see the Vanksters haven't gotten to google. Senkakus are shown as Sebnkaus part of Okinawa Prefcture. And the Southern Kurile Islands show both Russian and Japanese names.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

They are called one thing by some people, and another thing by others.

Can Google not write that alongside land with different names?

For example the English Channel (Br), La Manche (Fr). Falklands (Br), Las Malvinas (Arg).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@smith

I just said there there are still Japanese names on these islands on Google map whether you like it or not. No arguments!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you search Google Earth for either the Japanese, Korean or Russian names of these rocks it will take you too them, but they have the Japanese names on the map. Funny thing about Senkaku is, most of the photos were posted by Chinese.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What a joke! This shows how Japan can adamantly insist on islands that do not belong to them to be theirs. These maps have been in existence for decades and Japan never objected the ownership of them. Now Abe insists that these islands are Japan's. This is not surprising since Japan never admitted their war atrocities in China, Korea and many other parts of Southeast Asia. No wonder Japan never progressed socially for more than 20 years. They behave as if time never changed despite of their technological advancement. Living inside their cocoons refusing to face facts, accept critique and criticism, trying to make what are not honourable appear otherwise, turning away from the truth to hide their embarrassment. And now Japan is arguing with Google over maps. A society that does not progress universally and prefers to stay put in its shell will die a slow death in its shell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Chucky

Japan is angry and stomped out of the room and slammed the door behind him because Google map didn't have the name "Dokto" on an island where it should have had "Takeshima".

Where it should have had "Takeshima"? So you are saying that you believe Takeshima is the correct name? Wonders will never cease.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

All of the islands should have BOTH names (ie. Russian/Japanese, Chinese/Japanese, SKorean/Japanese), or if Japan and other nations insist in certain cases there are no disputes, the name of the nation that administers the islands should be used.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

google should just post all the names and be done with it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Carry on Google, who the heck cares what Nagato-cho thinks anyways...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was blase about these northern islands, but when I read the other day that some Japanese families have ancestor's graves there, it hit a chord. As far as I can gather, Russia snatched the islands "fair and square" as far as international law goes, but in common sense terms they should really give them back, given the significance.

As for Takeshima and Senkaku islands, I don't think either side have graves, or anything significant on them. At least the Japanese side can fairly claim to have conducted economic activities on Senkaku islands in the past.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

fxgal: guess what, Russians now have many ancestors buried there. They are Russian islands.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I have fairly modern maps that show Tibet as an independent country, and an island off China is called ROC. Is it OK to produce maps with these names today? A map's labeling can influence public opinion. And public (world) opinion is relevant.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How can Dokdo be Japanese? Are there Japanese presence on the island? Nope. Is there a Japanese flag flying over it? Nope. Are there any Japanese built structures? Nope. Does Japan control it? Nope. So how can Japan demand that Google call it a Japanese territory? That's some balls there demanding that others recognize it as Japanese, when Japan doesn't even have presence.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Is this JapanToday a korean paper?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How can Dokdo be Japanese? Are there Japanese presence on the island? Nope. Is there a Japanese flag flying over it? Nope. Are there any Japanese built structures? Nope. Does Japan control it? Nope. So how can Japan demand that Google call it a Japanese territory? That's some balls there demanding that others recognize it as Japanese, when Japan doesn't even have presence.

This is a typical Korean argument. Its like saying Korea likes the island more therefore it belongs to Korea. Not saying who is right or wrong, but the fact that Koreans worship the island and Japanese could care less about it doesn't really determine who it belongs to.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

And South Korea continues to illegally occupy Takeshima.

@Ossan - That is the Japanese view and only one side of the story. But I suppose that is automatically the correct view in your mind?

Japanese could care less about it doesn't really determine who it belongs to.

@therougou - Is that true? This article suggests the Tokyo government ordered state run universities to boycott Google Maps in protest of them not reflecting the Japanese view. It seems like they care a great deal.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Google should just use GPS or IP locate to check where the user is coming from and provide the appropriate names for that region.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole Google whining issue is a microcosm of the prevailing nationalist attitude here: senkakus are ours, there is no dispute! What do you mean there is no dispute with Takeshima? How dare the Russians call the islands theirs!! The hypocrisy is astounding.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It seems to me that the dispute of Takeshima and Dokdo belonging to our country is going on almost forever until these rocks are destroyed/all gone somehow.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Read the article, folks. The "who" in this case was the central government in Tokyo. It says so in the 4th paragraph.

@LFRagain--No it doesn't. It says: " the Tokyo government", which could either be the federal government or the metropolitan government. Either way would not answer my question of "who exaclty?". There are lots of branches and agencies in either one, with several committees to choose from, not to mention heads and beaurocrats. Further, one of these branches is telling the other branches to refrain. Who is at the center of it?

And it's not a decree. A decree implies that there is some sort of actionable order issued that leaves no room for disobedience.

This being Japan, an internal "request" may not come with clear demerits for non-compliance. But if you find yourself experiencing salary cuts, pulled from regular duties to do busywork on a permanent basis, or just plain fired, don't expect the union to come to your rescue. This is Japan after all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Russians now have many ancestors buried there. They are Russian islands."

Not exactly a compelling litmus test. The Japanese have ancestors buried all over the Kuriles as well. Several generations of ancestors more than the Russians, in fact.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mitch CohenSep. 30, 2013 - 04:11PM JST "And South Korea continues to illegally occupy Takeshima." @Ossan - That is the Japanese view and only one side of the story. But I suppose that is automatically the correct >view in your mind?

No "mitch". This is not the Japanese view only. It uis also the view of the United States. When the Syngman Rhee line was drawn unilaterally in 1952 and the Liancourt rocks were included, based on the Report of Van Fleet Mission to Far East made in 1954, the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman Rhee Line was illegal under international law. I do not know what South Korea teaches it's people but your statement is actually incorrect. And it explains why South Korea has refused THREE times suggestions by Japan to settle the issue at the ICJ.

The whole Google whining issue is a microcosm of the prevailing nationalist attitude here: senkakus are ours, there is no dispute! What do you mean there is no dispute with Takeshima? How dare the Russians call the islands theirs!! The hypocrisy is astounding.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ossan: "No "mitch". This is not the Japanese view only. It uis also the view of the United States. When the Syngman Rhee line was drawn unilaterally in 1952 and the Liancourt rocks were included, based on the Report of Van Fleet Mission to Far East made in 1954, the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman Rhee Line was illegal under international law."

And yet the Japanese government was pretty upset with the US when the latter quite openly recognized Dokdo as being Korean controlled and administered, and with some media saying time is on the South Korean's side as they not only administer, but live on it. Same with the Kuriles. And while no one lives on the Senkaku islands, the fact that Japan administers it, and has for some time, is in Japan's favor. You can't say the latter is part of proof of ownership and claim there is no dispute, then ask why other nations who claim there is no dispute won't go to the ICJ (which is non-binding to begin with).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smithinjapanSep. 30, 2013 - 10:06PM JST Ossan: "No "mitch". This is not the Japanese view only. It uis also the view of the United States. When the Syngman >Rhee line was drawn unilaterally in 1952 and the Liancourt rocks were included, based on the Report of Van Fleet >Mission to Far East made in 1954, the U.S. government maintained that the one-sided declaration of the Syngman >Rhee Line was illegal under international law."

And yet the Japanese government was pretty upset with the US when the latter quite openly recognized Dokdo as >being Korean controlled and administered,

Incorrect as always. "US policy on the Dokdo/Takeshima Island issue has been and continues to be that the United States does not take a position on either Korea's claim or Japan's claim to the island. "

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/liancourt.htm

Same with the Kuriles.

"The U.S. position on the Northern Territories was officially expressed in San-Francisco by John Foster Dulles who basing on research made by State Department experts, made a statement according to which the islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai group “were never historically or geographically considered part of the Kurile islands and therefore Russia had no right to occupy them even under the so-called Yalta agreement "

http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/Asia%20Pacific/NORTHERN%20TERRITO%20Text.htm

And while no one lives on the Senkaku islands, the fact that Japan administers it, and has for some time, is in Japan's >favor. You can't say the latter is part of proof of ownership and claim there is no dispute, then ask why other nations >who claim there is no dispute won't go to the ICJ (which is non-binding to begin with).

To take the position that there is no dispute is a legal position, which precludes debate and argument. Nor is this position unique to Japan regarding the Senkakus. "The approach of new Russian President Vladimir Putin to the problem of the Northern Territories demonstrates the slide back to pre-1956 Soviet position on the disputed islands. In spite of demonstrated general willingness to improve bilateral relations and promote economic cooperation, Putin stated a number of times that from his point of view, there are no outstanding territorial problems between Russia and Japan."

ICJ judgments are non-binding only when a country refuses to sign an agreement that will consider ICJ judgments binding. It is no coincidence that countries like South Korea and China are not signatories, In the case of China which has the greatest number of territorial disputes in Asia, accepting ICJ jurisdiction would open the door to many Asian nations taking China to the ICJ. In the case of South Korea, they simply know they do not have a legally viable case to claim the Liancourt Rocks so they have evaded going to the ICJ, even though they would be free to ignore any finding in Japan's favor.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

the islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai group “were never historically or geographically considered part of the Kurile islands and therefore Russia had no right to occupy them even under the so-called Yalta agreement "

@OssanAmerica--Right. As soon as the Cold War started, they were suddenly part of Hokkaido.

John Foster Dulles? Mr. Rollback policy himself? Why am I not surprised he came up with a declaration that would rollback the communists?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ControlFreakSep. 30, 2013 - 10:58PM JST "the islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai group “were never historically or geographically considered part of the Kurile islands and therefore Russia had no right to occupy them even under the so-called Yalta agreement "

@OssanAmerica--Right. As soon as the Cold War started, they were suddenly part of Hokkaido.

"Suddenly"? They have been part of Hokkaido since 1855 by Treaty with Russia.

"The same year (7 February, 1855) the Treaty of Shimoda (the Treaty of Commerce, Navigation and Delimitation) was concluded. Among other important agreements, the Treaty of Shimoda included the agreement on national borders between the two empires in accordance with which most of the Kuril islands were recognized as part of Russia while Japanese sovereignty was confirmed over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan (the smaller islands of Habomai group were not mentioned while they were regarded as part and parcel of Ezo-Hokkaido, Japanese sovereignty over which was not even questioned). Article 2 of the treaty stated that: “henceforth the boundary between the two nations shall lie between the islands of Etorofu and Uruppu. The whole of Etorofu shall belong to Japan, and the Kurile Islands, lying to the north of and including Uruppu, shall belong to Russia”[

"Russian human rights activist and moderate nationalist Alexander Solzhenitsyn who recently wrote: “Here we can see the unforgivable bluntness of our leaders in their attitude towards South Kurils. After having carelessly given tens of… Russian provinces to Ukraine and Kazakstan, they demonstrate fake patriotism by refusing to give back to Japan the islands that never belonged to Russia…”

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Ossan: "To take the position that there is no dispute is a legal position, which precludes debate and argument. Nor is this position unique to Japan regarding the Senkakus."

It's just that you believe it's only right with the Senkakus and not anywhere else.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's just that you believe it's only right with the Senkakus and not anywhere else.

Korea takes the same position on Liancourt Rocks as well. Hence, Japan had requested Korea to settle this issue via ICJ.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

smithinjapanOct. 01, 2013 - 12:56AM JST "Ossan: "To take the position that there is no dispute is a legal position, which precludes debate and argument. Nor is this position unique to Japan regarding the Senkakus." It's just that you believe it's only right with the Senkakus and not anywhere else.

I have never ever commented on whether it is right or wrong with respect to other countries. Unless you purport to have mental telepathic powers please refrain from declaring what "I" believe.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

why dont u both issue the idea of naming that island with both perception ,if they access google map in Korea name it Dokdo and if they access Google map in Japan just name it Takeshima it is quite fair ,isn't?this is a peculiar problem that often occur in the neighbouring countries.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They are Japanese. They were owned by Japanese and then they were purchased by Japanese Japan. That's about as Japanese as you can get.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Implanting the wrong facts once again... Just like editing history of Imperial brutality from school texts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@mitch

Is that true? This article suggests the Tokyo government ordered state run universities to boycott Google Maps in protest of them not reflecting the Japanese view. It seems like they care a great deal.

government, or some government official that is not made clear. going against an entire brainwashed country.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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