Sea of No Name

Some Japanese Twitter users have noticed and are complaining (tongue in cheek faux “how dare you” angry Greta style) that Apple Maps no longer displays the Sea of Japan name in English or even Japanese language settings. It may be connected with recent South Korean moves to get international recognition of ‘East Sea’ instead of, or in conjunction with Sea of Japan, which failed. For reference, Yahoo Japan Maps and Google Maps display the Sea of Japan but Google uses different place naming depending on the device region setting, a realistic and user friendly compromise.

Some suggested that Apple might be preparing to follow the Google Map naming method with updated map assets, but after more than a year of no name instead of Sea of Japan, that isn’t the excuse. This is Apple playing international politics. Removing a place name altogether is a boneheaded move that appeases nobody. It is the worst kind of big tech censorship we don’t need.

More details here in a more recent post: Apple’s cultural values, fantasy vs reality