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
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes: Evil is the strongest word we have to prepare ourselves to kill others.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
As protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teen calmed down, the question remains: Where's the police officer who pulled the trigger?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
CNN's Tim Lister: Getting rid of ISIS will be tougher than taking on al Qaeda.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0042 GMT (0842 HKT)
American patients infected with Ebola are being released from the hospital. What now?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1048 GMT (1848 HKT)
One of the first observers at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine describes the harrowing scene.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid gestures during the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 Cardiff, Wales.
"We are like one grain of sand against a whole beach," says Eibar fan Unai Eraso.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1022 GMT (1822 HKT)
From fierce protests in Ferguson, to an Ebola survivor discharged from a hospital in Atlanta, browse through the photos of the week.
ADVERTISEMENT