Tokyo Boycotts Google Korea Maps

The Japanese government has instructed regional government and state organizations not to use the Korean version of Google maps due to the labeling of Dokdo, to which Tokyo has flimsy territorial claim.

The Korean version of Google maps lists the Korean islets as "Dokdo" but not by the name the Japanese have for them.

According to the Tokyo Shimbun on Saturday, the central government in a notice to regional governments and national universities said Google maps contain names that are "not in line" with Tokyo's official position. The Japanese version of Google maps labels Dokdo with the Japanese name of "Takeshima."

The English version bizarrely calls them "Liancourt Rocks," a hangover from even older colonial ventures.

In a similar bind, Google maps try to please all sides by calling a group of islands disputed between Japan and China by their Japanese name of Senkaku in Japan and their Chinese name of Diaoyu in China.

Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera continued a campaign by the rightwing Abe administration to loosen the country’s pacifist postwar constitution. Onodera said the country’s military need be able to "attack enemy bases," according to the Yomiuri Shimbun on Saturday.

Onodera told a seminar that it would be too late to defend the country if "multiple missiles are fired" at Japan, arguing that the constitution allows attacks on enemy bases. He apparently wants Japan to be capable of launching pre-emptive strikes against North Korean military installations.

The issue will be discussed at the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee Meeting on Thursday.

Japan does not own mid-range attack missiles as its postwar constitution prohibits any hostile actions.

englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 30, 2013 11:20 KST