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Lufthansa criticised for removing Dokdo from in-flight maps

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Lufthansa is receiving flak, after it decided to remove Dokdo from its in-flight maps. Dokdo, which are referred to as “Takeshima” in Japan or “Dokdo” in South Korea, are tiny islets located in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) that have been the source of a longstanding conflict between South Korea and Japan.

According to The Korea Times, it all started after a complaint by a Japanese passenger about the description of Dokdo, which was written in English and Japanese, on a Tokyo-Munich flight in December 2017. The passenger claimed the name should be “Takeshima.”

Lufthansa, the largest German airline, rather than use the Japanese name “Takeshima”, or the Korean verison of “Dokdo”, said it will simply delete the name of the disputed territory altogether.

The airline told The Korea Times “the software has been updated and will be installed on the aircraft at the end of this week. The name of the island will not be shown anymore.” The airline also stressed that it had no intention to insult any party.”

Many Koreans are angered by Lufthansa’s decision, some have even signed a petition matter on the Cheong Wa Dae (The Blue House or 청와대) website, urging the government to act.

“Lufthansa accepted the Japanese person’s opinion to change the name of Dokdo without checking facts,” said one Korean who signed the petition. “Dokdo has always been Korea’s territory that it controls … We urge Lufthansa to retract the decision. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to look into the matter and prevent such incident from happening again.”

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