The Straits Times
Published on Oct 25, 2012

Google drawn into S. Korea-Japan island dispute


SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Thursday lashed out at Google for changing the name of an isolated set of islands at the centre of a territorial dispute with Japan on its English-language web mapping service.

The protest came as Seoul and Tokyo are locked in a propaganda war to publicise their respective claims to the islands, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

Google recently updated its Google Maps and - on the English-language version - replaced the name of Dokdo with Liancourt Rocks, a name taken from a French whaling ship that came close to being wrecked on the islets in 1849.

Google's Korean-language service retains the name of Dokdo, while its Japanese-language service uses the name of Takeshima.