Skip to main content

How Japan is deploying YouTube as new weapon in dispute over island chain

By Ramy Inocencio, for CNN
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 0935 GMT (1735 HKT)
This disputed islands in the East China Sea are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
This disputed islands in the East China Sea are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan posts YouTube videos on official channel supporting claims to disputed islands
  • China, South Korea criticize Japan's moves as "provocative"
  • Tokyo says it will not take down controversial videos and will add more

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Japan is using YouTube to bolster assertions of ownership over islands also claimed by neighboring China and South Korea.

Japan's Foreign Ministry published the two videos on its official YouTube channel, under the username MOFAchannel, October 16.

In one, Tokyo's claim over the Senkaku islands -- known as the Diaoyu islands in China -- are supported through old black-and-white photographs and a timeline of events starting with a document dating back to 1895.

In the other, similar pictures and a chronology of events starting from 1900 illustrate Japan's claim to the Takeshima islands, known as the Dokdo islands in Korean.

Disputed islands buzzing with activity
Japan arrests 14 pro-China activists
Staying away because of island dispute

Both videos have received more than half a million page views since they were published.

China and South Korea both criticized Japan's social media push.

"The Diaoyu Islands and other affiliated islands have always been Chinese territory. China has solid evidence to prove this," the Chinese government stressed in an official statement.

"No matter what propaganda measures Japan takes, it will not change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China. We strongly urge Japan to correct its attitude and stop all kinds of provocative acts."

In South Korea, lawmakers from the country's major parties vowed to counter Japan's "provocative" moves, according to the semi-official Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's foreign ministry also demanded Tokyo take down its Dokdo island video and summoned a Japanese diplomatic official to lodge a formal complaint.

In reply, Tokyo has said the videos will remain -- and its Foreign Ministry plans to produce videos on the Kuril islands claimed by Russia and on the official name of the Sea of Japan, according to Japan's Kyodo news.

"The government is doing what we must do regularly, from the viewpoint of promoting a more correct understanding of the situation surrounding our country," explained a Foreign Ministry press secretary at a news conference in Tokyo.

Feng Ke contributed to this report from Beijing.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT