Japan has urged its local governments as well as national universities to stop referring to Google Maps for directional advises on their respective Web sites. Japan was furious over how Google Maps treated some of its disputed islands.
According to the AFP, citing the Sports Nippon tabloid, 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, as well as the Japan-held Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by China as the Diaoyus.
Also included are the islands the Japanese calls the Northern Territories, opposite of the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido, which is controlled by Russia.
But the ban seems to have a weak effect, according to a report by the DailyEconomic.
"(Google Map) is so convenient that it is too hard to find a replacement," the paper said, quoting an unidentified personnel from one of Japan's national universities said.
Japan reiterated its state agencies should use the maps referred and endorsed by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.
Earlier in April, the Environment Ministry and Marine Self-defense force faced heavy criticisms due to its preferential treatment of using Google Maps than the government-mandated maps.
Japan's Information Technology Department was forced to issue a notice, which read, "There is inconformity of Japanese governmental policies in the electronic map used on homepages."
"Pay special attention to make sure that the names of places conform to our policies," the notice added.
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