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November 02, 2012

South Korea Angry with Apple over Use of Japanese Name for Disputed Islands

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare once wrote in the play “Romeo and Juliet.” For the authorities in South Korea, it appears quite a lot.

The South Korean government is angry with Apple (News - Alert) because Apple Maps used the non-Korean name of some islands located between Korea and Japan.

In Korea, the islands are called Dokdo, and Korean Apple Maps viewers will see that name. But in Japan, the islands are called by the Japanese name, according to a report from Search Engine Land.

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Apple Maps is a mapping service for the iPhone (News - Alert), and its names for locations could be considered important. "We protested to Apple's Korean unit that, because Dokdo is clearly an integral part of our territory, the new reference is unacceptable and it should be marked as the Korean name of Dokdo wherever it is searched for," the official was quoted by the Korea Times.

"Although Apple is a private organization, this is an issue that our government cannot concede on,” the Korean government official told the Korea Times newspaper. “So, we will continue reiterating our stance and requesting Apple to accept our demand.”

Similarly, Korea recently complained to Google (News - Alert) that it uses the English name for Dokdo, “Liancourt Rocks,” Search Engine Land reported. The disputed islands lie closer to South Korea than Japan in the water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, the newspaper added.

In other related news, Apple's head of mobile software, Scott Forstall, is leaving the company following the release of Apple Maps and Siri, both of which did not perform as well as hoped for by Apple, TMCnet said.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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