Google Maps Labels Islets as Part of Korea, Japan Protests

An age old territorial dispute between Japan and Korea spills over into cyber-space as Google opts to call the set of islets between the two countries by its Korean name. Korean netizens were quick to defend Google, while criticizing Japan.

From Yonhap News:

Google’s dubbing of Dokdo as being in the Ulleung County is unacceptable, says Japan

The Japanese Government criticized Google’s mapping service as unacceptable for describing the location of the Dokdo [islets] as being part of the ‘Ulleung County‘, saying that they requested them to modify [the description] many times.

According to the Kyodo news agency, in response to internet search engine giant Google’s ‘Google Maps’ mapping service’s decription that Dokdo is located in the ‘Ulleung’ province, the Japanese Cabinet council determined on the 16th that this was ‘not acceptable’.

The Japanese Government asserted that ‘because this (Google’s description) might mislead viewers into thinking Takeshima (Japanese name for Dokdo) is Korean territory, in light of our country’s position, we deem it is unacceptable.’

This was an official government response to the ‘questions’ posed by Sata Masahisa, a councillor with the Liberal Democratic Party.

Kyodo News conveyed that ‘searching for the Japanese word ‘Takeshima’ in Google Maps yields no results, but when you search for ‘Dokdo’ in either Korean or English characters, it comes up, specifying it is Korean territory.’

In the meanwhile, the Japanese Consulate-General to the United States stationed in New York protested over Korea’s e-commerce site Gmarket’s publication two weeks ago (on Korea’s Independence Movement day, March 1st) of a Dokdo related advert in the New York Times.

The Japanese Consulate-General said that ‘the New York Times replied that in the future they won’t print misleading advertising.’

The Gmarket advert promoted the island as being Korean, located in the East Sea, while asking the reader how good it would be to go visit the stunning island in the summer.

Comments from Nate:


Can you Japs just stop all this bollocks…


Don’t you Japanese have the proverb that says ‘A lie told 100 times eventually becomes the truth’? Aren’t you practicing what you preach? By continuously lying by insisting Dokdo is your land, you make yourself believe in your own lie just like disillusioned children.


Daemado is our territory. Compared to Japan, Daemado is not only closer to our country but is also home to gravestones from the independence movement. We’ve called for them to give it back. Guys, Daemado is our soil.

Comments from Daum:

최선을 다하자:

Stop whining about Dokdo –– whine about Lee Myung-Bak instead.


Google used to be a good company…


Dokdo should obviously be recorded on Google Maps as Korean soil.


There is no need to feel pity for a country like Japan…are you guys [the Japanese] making a decent living? At first, with the tragedy of a tsunami, Edo [ancient name of Tokyo] disappeared~~!!!! Those bastards’ way of thinking stopped there and then…Mount Fuji…BOOM!!


And the man at the head of our government said we must ‘hold back’ [referring to the comments President Lee made 4 years ago at the G8 summit in relation to the Japanese textbook controversy]. Twat.


Ahh a big earthquake will eventually hit Japan…Whenever Dokdo comes up, an earthquake has occured. What a pity.


Why is the monkey clan [referring to the Japanese] being like this ke ke ke~~


They say Tokyo will be hit by another earthquake greater than 7.0 on the Richter Scale within the next ten years, but I’d say the sooner the better…really…


Today’s [tension] would surely get a 7.0 on the Richter Scale.


We shouldn’t recognise those Japanese monkeys as human.


Please think carefully why your country gets hit by massive earthquakes and A-bombs. I think I know why Japan gets hit by earthquakes…


We shouldn’t be accepting the Japanese as human.


Come and take it if you dare!


Scrupulous cunts…

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  • lonetrey

    Wow, what the shit @ all the Japan-hating. Korean racism has always embarrassed the fuck out of me.

    Though I’m not Korean (Taiwanese/Chinese), it always makes me feel a little uncomfortable whenever an Asian does something stupid… might just be me though.

    • Wang that!

      I really am embarrassed that there are self hating Asian like you and you should be more embarrassed about the Taiwanese hate towards the PRC. The PRC hate towards Japan or even Taiwan’s ass kissing to Japan…

      Sorry for the rant but the point I am trying to make is…

      People are entitled to their own opinions (right or wrong) and when it comes to old grievances you’re better off not getting involved if you have no point to add…

  • Matt

    Just goes to show that being a wealthy, developed country doesn’t mean it’s civilized.

    They’ve got K-pop and chaebols, but they’re still not above calling others monkeys and wishing natural disasters upon them.

    Utterly sick. And the same applies to any Japanese who harbor similarly inflamed hatred over such an idiotic matter, though this issue seems to stir more passion amongst average Koreans than average Japanese.

    • achan

      Somehow being wealthy exempts you from being stupid? What they lack is not money, but education about each other. I am surprised how little they know about each other in East Asia, other than terrible things they done to each other.

      I understand that they are not particularly fond of each other but everyone’s got their own favorite enemy to pick on. Nothing much wrong with that, as long as they can air out their grievances in a manner more constructive than name-calling and bitchy, passive-aggressive BS. I really resent this “they hate us so we hate them back so it’s their fault and we are innocent” victim attitude so entrenched in East Asia.

      Rather than being smug about other people’s stupid nationalism/ racism, it may be more worthwhile to try to understand how they came about, no?

    • Well it should be fairly obvious that money, development and culture have little to do with it.

      When people in the US started demanding Obama’s birth certificate, they hit a new low too.

      Somewhat understandably, anti-Japanese sentiment is still high in Korea. It was also high amongst my grandparents’ generation in the UK, as was anti-Irish and anti-German sentiment. For obvious reasons.

      Having said that, netizens tend to be a loud nationalist voice ANYWHERE. chinaSMACK followers should be familiar with that. There are plenty of Koreans who would be horrified at the racist overtones of these comments. They just may be too sensible to get involved in the debate.

      If we were foolish enough to assume from these comments that all Koreans were somehow racist, we’d be just as guilty of the same sweping generalisations and ignorance that we’re accusing them of in the first place.

      • achan

        hear, hear!

        I get so tired of seeing the major national news sites carrying really irresponsible stories about “what [insert country]’s blogger said about us” type coverage. why??? what purpose does that serve other than fanning each other’s worst bigotry? Does Canadian news media cover every time some American bored teenager post “I hate Canada and hope they club each other to death” video on YouTube or vice versa “I hate America and I hope 911 happens again” crap? – that is just pandering to the basest populist sentiment. Don’t be so surprised that they don’t like each other, duhhh.

        I tend to think that being online tends to amplify the worst in them, and too bad so many people it’s their entire life, having no job and no life outside and no girlfriend, so the internet boards are a bit of gutter, to put it mildly.

        on the regional level though, it really hurts their politics and it seems to reinforce the national attitude of sucking up to the US as arbiter of these conflicts.

      • Wang that!

        well put.

    • Raphael

      To say that racist comments are representative of a whole people is a little narrow minded. Furthermore, to ‘compare’ Korea with other ‘wealthy, developed’ countries doesn’t help. One must remember that Korea was a closed off country up until the last century. And when the Koreans opened up, they were occupied. The resentment is still fresh in many people’s minds – and in terms of being ‘developed’, Korea has only become so in the past few decades. Korea has come a long way from nothing, and territoriality, more so than any other topic, is still a very hot issue.

      As achan points out, rather than comment on how great and civilised our nations are, wouldn’t it be better looking into, and understanding how this sentiment has arisen?

      I remind you how great ‘wealthy, developed and civilized’ countries really are:


      or even

    • achan

      well, i do actually hear what Matt says though, it must look pretty petty from outside. All I wanted to say was that national resentment and petty bigotry are not limited to East Asia nor is it in anyway correlated with national GDP. It just happens more when they don’t know much about each other [despite geographic proximity] and a lot of cheap political credit to be made by attacking each other rather than trying to cooperate. EU certainly seems to have reduced the intra-regional tensions there, though it is proving a bit costly at the moment :p

  • Brett Sanbon

    I love watching the Japanese get butthurt over Dokdo. Didn’t the Japanese take enough from Korea through the years of occupation? The ministers are running around pissing off the Chinese about Nanjing and wont stop arguing over Dokdo. Koreas not gonna give this one up, thats for sure

  • Leif

    That comment about Dokdo being closer to Korea, therefore it belongs to Korea is stupid. Alaska is connect to Canada but its still a US state.

    I dont really know enough about the issue so will someone please be willing to explain to me why the fighting over a chunk of rock?

    • Noori

      Actually, that comment is being sarcastic about typical Japan’s rationale. Some Japanese are claiming that the islets are Japanese territory because they are closer to Japan.

  • roflstomp

    Japan has an extremely bloody history which they flat out ignore. They still deny the Nanjing massacre in China.

    Screw them.

    • 404 name not found

      lol they deny that? what a bunch of ass-wipes!

  • Godori

    Dokdo is Korean!!!

  • Jessica

    Japan, shut up. Dokdo is Korea’s. I’m saying that because Dokdo is much closer to Korea than it is to Japan, and I don’t even know why Japan and Korea are fighting over TWO really small islands.

    • Canuck2

      Saying Dokdo is Korea’s because of proximity to the country is ignorant. See above comment on Alaska being closer to Canada yet being American territory.

      Why are Japan and Korea fighting over the islands? Last time I checked, it was partly over fishing territory. But mostly the islands are disputed because they represent the historical shame Korea endured as a consequence of Japanese occupancy. As much as I find the historical context and angry sentiments understandable from Korea’s side, it’s not helping the Korean image for people to set themselves on fire, slay pheasants (national birds of Japan) during protests, put up ads on foreign newspapers, and talk about why Dokdo is Korean to every foreigner they meet. Basically Korea is coming across as a baby crying over a lost lollipop. I wish the two countries could calmly and harmoniously work out some sort of solution to this dispute, but with Japan not apologizing for history and Korea refusing to move on, that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.

    • Alice S

      I think they’re Korea because I would support Japps in an island dispute no more than I would kill myself.

  • Surprised that Korea or Japan even noticed…between the two countries, about 3 people use Google….. ;-p

    • Paul

      Bahaha. Spot on. Korea even ran a smear campaign on them last year.

  • 404 name not found

    Funny thing is that those UK clowns haven’t claimed sovereignty over Dokdo or Takeshima (or whatever the fuck you call it) yet…

    • Vince

      lol wut

  • wangkon936

    Sorry Japan. Google is more scared of Samsung than Sony.

  • Alice S

    I’m Chi & CCTV China always uses the word Dokdo, in English news & Chinese news, around the world. Source: I hear it often LOL.

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