iPhone 5 Map 'fixes' Japan-China island dispute

Summary:Ongoing territory disputes between China and Japan seem "solved" by the widely criticized Apple Maps adopted in iPhone 5, which reveals two sets of the islands appearing next to each other--one under Japan and one under China.

The territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan has been "averted" in the recently launched Apple Map in iPhone 5, which--according to various reports--provides one set of islands for each country to avoid being involved into the dispute.

In a Shanghai Daily report, titled "Apple's new phone says islands are Chinese", the Shanghai-based English-language newspaper said the map provider for the iPhone 5 rejected online claims its application marked China's Diaoyu Islands as Japanese territory.

The report citied Yang Yongqi, a senior official with the map provider, who clarified to an official Chinese media that all the maps, including the iPhone 5 app, marked the Diaoyu Islands as Chinese territory in iPhone 5.

In a test carried out on an iPhone 4S owned by the writer in China, while searching Diaoyu Islands, the Apple Maps clearly located the areas but outcome turned into "no result" when typing Senkaku Islands into the Map.

But microbloggers indicated that the search result of Diaoyu Islands only appeared in previous iPhone models sold in China which have been updated to the latest IOS 6 maps, but provided different results for its counterparts across the sea.

In Japan, when typing "Diaoyu Islands" into Apple Maps, the result only marked the latitude and longitude of the location and orientation information without any specific name. But, after typing "Senkaku Islands", the search result will show up corresponding position as well as the name "Senkaku Islands"--the general term for Japan on the Diaoyu Islands, according to another report.

A blog titled "The amazing IOS 6 Maps" also posted search results of two sets of islands in the Apple Map, which marked Diaoyu Islands and Senkaku Islands on two subsidiary islands in the area to cater the needs of both nationalities.

Tensions between China and Japan over these islands escalated after the Japanese government claimed to purchase the rights of the islands. Following the announcement, civil patrol ships from China reached the waters of the islands to patrol and showcase China's sovereignty over these islands.

Demonstrations were also staged in more than 100 Chinese cities last weekend to fight the Japanese move.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, China, Government : Asia, Legal

About

Cyrus Lee, writing under a pen name, is a Hong Kong-based reporter in an English-language newspaper and a correspondent for a radio station.

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