Japan's Removal from South Korea's Winter Olympics Map Revives Old Disputes Between the Two Neighbors
Nevin Thompson, 7 Oct 17
       

A television image taken from the PyeongChang Organizing Committee website. Caption (top-right): “Why was Japan omitted from a map on the official PyeongChang 2018 Olympic website? Japanese government protests.” Screencap from ANN official YouTube channel

The omission of Japan from a map on the official web page of the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea has provoked outrage in Japan, and exposed deep resentment against its neighbor.

On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, the Japan Sports Agency, which supports Japan's Olympic athlete program, reportedly noticed a map uploaded by the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics organizing committee had omitted the Japanese archipelago. It already lodged a complaint via the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo, according to the Associated Press.

Since the February 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in neighboring South Korea, Japan's omission from the map was quite noticeable.

While the Pyeongchang organizing committee reportedly explained the omission of Japan on the map was a “simple mistake” caused by changes in image files when organizers updated the Olympic website in February, the gaffe went viral in Japan, resulting in television coverage and a hashtag on Twitter, #PyeongChang2018HomePage (‘#平昌五輪HP’).

There was also a highly visible protest by the Japanese Cabinet itself which officially rebuked the PyeongChang Olympic organizing committee.


Suga Yoshihide, Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Japanese government: omission “extremely inappropriate.” Official #PyeongChang2018 home page publishes map that omits Japan. #PyeongChang2018HomePage.


While the map was quickly fixed, it did not stop online resentments from seething on social media. Manuronald, a member of the online blogging site Naver Matome, collected some of the tweets in a post that has been viewed nearly 250,000 times. Most of the comments Manuronald collected expressed deep cynicism on whether the omission of Japan was merely a simple mistake.

While the map was quickly fixed, it did not stop online resentments from seething on social media. Manuronald, a member of the online blogging site Naver Matome, collected some of the tweets in a post that has been viewed nearly 250,000 times. Most of the comments Manuronald collected expressed deep cynicism on whether the omission of Japan was merely a simple mistake.

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