South Korea has asked Apple to remove the Japanese names of the Dokdo islets from its new Maps app in iOS 6. Both Asian countries claim ownership of Dokdo, which has long caused tensions between the two. In iOS 5, when Maps was powered by Google Maps, only the Korean name for the islets was used, and that’s how Korean officials want it to stay.
Apple’s Korean unit has reportedly notified the local government that the new Maps service uses the Korean, Japanese, and Franco-English names to describe Dokdo simultaneously. The Korean-language version of the app uses the Korean name, while the Japanese-language version of the app uses the Japanese name
Korean officials say, however, that this is “unacceptable.” They argue that the Dokdo has been an integral part of South Korea’s territory, and that therefore only the Korean name should be used. “Although Apple is a private organization, this is an issue that our government cannot concede on. So, we will continue reiterating our stance and requesting Apple to accept our demand,” the official said.
ZDNet reports that tensions have been high between Seoul and Tokyo over the Dokdo islets, which are situated in the East Sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, after South Korean president Lee Myung-bak visited the islets and cited “Tokyo’s unrepentant attitude over its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula” as the reason for his trip. The Japanese were angered by his comments.
Apple’s Korean unit is yet to comment on the situation.