Japan paper's social media accounts 'blocked in China'

July 18, 2013
One of Japan's biggest newspapers said Thursday its social media accounts have been deleted in China, amid a bitter territorial dispute between the two countries.

One of Japan's biggest newspapers said Thursday its social media accounts have been deleted in China, amid a bitter territorial dispute between the two countries.

The Asahi Shimbun's head office in Tokyo said that all four of its microblogging accounts in China were shut down this week in what it described as an "abnormal situation".

"It would be really regrettable if the accounts had been closed intentionally despite the large number of followers... we strongly request the operators reopen the accounts as soon as they can," it said.

Users of Sina Weibo, a microblogging service similar to Twitter, said the newspaper's account disappeared on Wednesday after having gathered around 1.3 million followers.

The reason for the account's deletion was unclear. Sina, which runs the social media service, was not immediately available for comment.

It was not clear what services the other accounts were on.

A former social media editor for the newspaper, posting under the name Wangzuo Zhongyou, wrote that the accounts were taken down because of "instructions from above", without giving details.

Some Sina Weibo users on Thursday posted icons of candles in memory of the account's disappearance.

Beijing has previously blocked the websites of foreign media organisations including the New York Times and Bloomberg after they published reports on topics deemed taboo by the ruling Communist Party.

China and Japan have for decades disputed the ownership of a string of islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

Beijing stepped up its rhetoric and sent patrol ships to surrounding waters after Tokyo nationalised three islands in the chain in September last year, in what it said was a mere administrative change of ownership from a private owner.

China insists the islands were part of its territory until Japan annexed them in 1895 at the start of a half-century of acquisitive invasions that culminated in World War II.

Explore further: China's Sina to launch English microblogging site

Related Stories

China extends microblog rules to south: report

December 22, 2011

China is extending rules requiring microblog users to register under their real names to Guangdong, state media said Thursday, after a spate of violent protests in the southern province.

China shuts 'rumour' blogs in Internet crackdown

April 25, 2012

One of China's most popular microblogging services has shut several accounts for spreading "malicious" rumours, as Beijing tightens control over the Internet after the ouster of a top leader.

US social media account in China disappears

July 13, 2012

(AP) — A widely read microblog written by the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai and known for its sometimes tongue-in-cheek comments about China's social and political issues was inaccessible Friday.

Apple maps disaster may solve China-Japan islands row

September 22, 2012

Apple's new iPhone 5 may have been criticised for its glitch-ridden new maps program, but it may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan's ongoing row over disputed islands.

Japan to launch satellites to monitor oceans

July 7, 2013

Japan plans to launch satellites to monitor the world's oceans, a report said Sunday, as Chinese government ships sailed in waters around islands controlled by Tokyo and claimed by Beijing.

Recommended for you

Inferring urban travel patterns from cellphone data

August 29, 2016

In making decisions about infrastructure development and resource allocation, city planners rely on models of how people move through their cities, on foot, in cars, and on public transportation. Those models are largely ...

How machine learning can help with voice disorders

August 29, 2016

There's no human instinct more basic than speech, and yet, for many people, talking can be taxing. 1 in 14 working-age Americans suffer from voice disorders that are often associated with abnormal vocal behaviors - some of ...

Apple issues update after cyber weapon captured

August 26, 2016

Apple iPhone owners on Friday were urged to install a quickly released security update after a sophisticated attack on an Emirati dissident exposed vulnerabilities targeted by cyber arms dealers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.