TOKYO: Japan has asked local authorities and state-run universities not to post Google maps on their websites because some of them use non-Japanese names for disputed islands, reports said yesterday.
The disputed territory includes the South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, and the Japan-held Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by China as the Diaoyus, the Sports Nippon tabloid reported.
The Russian-held islands off Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, referred to by Japan as the Northern Territories, are also included, the paper said. In notices issued earlier this year the Tokyo government said that “some registrations in the electronic maps on the home pages are incompatible with Japan’s stance”, Kyodo News agency reported.
It said the government recommends that public bodies use maps compiled by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, but it was unclear if they have followed the request because Google maps are apparently more convenient.
Chinese Internet users slam giant Tiananmen vase
BEIJING: A giant vase installed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square ahead of a national holiday has met with scathing criticism from Chinese Internet users after a newspaper revealed its cost yesterday.
An enormous psychedelic-looking red pot — 13 metres high and 11 metres in diameter — topped with huge fake flowers and imitation peaches was installed this week on the square, the symbolic centre of the Chinese state. But it came at a cost of more than 570,000 yuan ($93,000), up 8,000 yuan from similar displays the previous two years, according to the state-run Beijing Youth Daily.
The cost prompted critical comments among Chinese Internet users — even though the report said that the overall number of flowers used around Beijing for China’s National Day had halved. “Who permitted spending taxpayer’s money in this way?” one user of Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, wrote. The report said that some money-saving measures, including the use of 800,000 small flower pots in the square and surrounding streets, compared to 1,000,000 last year, had been introduced.