Sat, Oct 16, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan’s Diaoyutai claim omitted by Google online map

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE:Google reportedly turned down a Japanese request to leave out the islands’ Chinese name, but has left out their Taiwanese name

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said it had expressed concern to the search engine Google over its naming of disputed islands in the East China Sea in its map service, which omits their Taiwanese name.

Taiwan, China and Japan all claim sovereignty over the islets. The map, however, only labeled them the Diaoyu Islands (釣魚群島), in simplified Chinese characters as they are called in China, and Senkaku Islands (尖閣諸島), in Japanese kanji characters, as they are called in Japan.

MOFA spokesman James Chang (章計平) said the ministry had asked Google to label the area as Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台列嶼), in traditional Chinese characters, which is what the islands are called in Taiwan.

According to Chang, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco on Thursday expressed the government’s concern over the matter to Google’s headquarters, in that city. Google had yet to reply to MOFA’s request as of press time yesterday, Chang added.

Saying that Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutais is an “undisputed fact,” Chang said Diaoyutai Islands should also be labeled on the Google Map.

Earlier last month, a collision between two Japanese patrol boats and a Chinese fishing vessel in the waters off the Diaoyutai Islands put the issue in the spotlight.

Google reportedly rejected requests from the Japanese Government on Thursday that the Senkaku Islands not be labeled as the Diaoyu Islands and that the description of the area as a territory of China be removed.

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