Skip to main content

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

By Ramy Inocencio, for CNN
updated 5:35 AM EDT, Fri October 25, 2013
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
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
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