Japan rejects Google maps in dispute over islands

Japan rejects Google maps in dispute over islands

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

The disputed territories include 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 (websites) are incompatible with Japan's stance", Kyodo News agency said.

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

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