Japan to ask Google to delete disputed islands' Chinese name

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 08:10 hrs

Tokyo, Oct 14 (DPA) Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said Thursday the government was to call for Google Inc to remove Chinese names for a disputed set of islands in the East China Sea from the company's mapping service.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party also protested Wednesday to Google over the use of Diaoyu - the Chinese name of the islands, called Senkaku in Japan - urging the internet search giant to delete the former.

The Japanese-controlled islands are claimed by both Japan and China.

The Liberal Democratic Party's protest was 'totally legitimate and justifiable', Maehara told an upper-house budget committee. 'The foreign ministry will make a firm demand.'

Japanese authorities arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain in early September after his vessel allegedly collided with Japan Coast Guard vessels near the islands.

China strongly demanded his immediate release and the incident led to the worst diplomatic row in several years between Japan and China. Amid increasing tension, Japanese prosecutors finally agreed to release the captain in late September.

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