Google removes Korean name and address of contested islands

Featured - October 26th, 2012

Google removed the Korean name and address of contested islands from its English and Japanese-language maps after condemnation from Japan.

Both Japanese and Korean names, “Takeshima” and “Dokdo” respectively, were shown on the virtual Japanese map, with “Takeshima” written in Japanese while “Dokdo” in English. The islands’ Korean address was also removed when searched using keywords such as Takeshima or Dokdo.

Google then placed the “Takeshima” in the Japanese version of the map while placing “Dokdo” in the Korean edition, The Nikkei reports. In the English version, Google listed the islands as “Liancourt Rocks”.

“We’ve made four updates to show more relevant labels to people depending on which local version of our maps they prefer to use,” Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs of Google Korea Lois Kim said in a statement yesterday.

Google also updated the site labels on other disputed areas such as the Senkaku or Diaoyu, the Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Japan or the East Sea, Korea JoongAng Daily reports.

“We understand that geographic names can raise deep emotions, which is why we have invested so much time to ensure we get the best outcome for our users,” Kim said.