Apple has done its bit to defuse rapidly escalating tensions between China and Japan, by pulling an inflammatory iOS game in which the player is tasked with defending a disputed set of islands in the East China Sea from the invading Japanese.
Defend the Diaoyu Islands was taken down “recently” from the Chinese App Store, its creator the Shenzhen ZQGame Network Company told China Daily, although apparently no explanation was given by Apple.
However, a casual glance at the App Store description (tr. MobiSights) will probably provide all the information necessary to deduce why it may have been deemed inappropriate by the fruity toy maker.
Defend the Diaoyu Islands, for they are the inalienable territory of China! Recently, the Japanese government has been sabre-rattling, making attempts to seize the Diaoyu Islands and even arresting our fishermen compatriots while selling off fish from the islands. Today, you can vent your anger by trying this game demo, working together to eradicate all Japanese devils landing on the island and turning them back towards their own lands. Defend the Diaoyu Islands!
As the name suggests, the aim of the game is to prevent the invading Japanese hordes from seizing control of the islands, using an arsenal of nets, lasers, tornadoes and fire, and other assorted items.
It seems that when it comes to nationalistic video games, as opposed to anti-government web content, China’s censors are happy to let things slide.
The disputed islands, known as the “Senkaku” in Japanese, have been controlled by Japan since the late 19th century, aside from a period of about 30 years after the war when the US stepped in, but are now claimed by both China and Taiwan.