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
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0741 GMT (1541 HKT)
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0936 GMT (1736 HKT)
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 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