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Apple Pulls Chinese Game With Japan Ninjas Invading Island Chain

A “Plants vs. Zombies”-style game that depicts Japanese ninjas and sumo wrestlers invading an island chain claimed by Beijing and Tokyo has been pulled from Apple Inc.’s App Store.

The game, “Defend the Diaoyu Islands,” which had been available on the Chinese-language version of the App Store, was no longer listed Wednesday. The company that made the game, Shenzhen ZQGame Network Co., said it was given no explanation for the move, the China Daily newspaper reported today.

The company apologized to players and is in negotiations with Apple over the game, China Daily said.

In the game, players defend the islands by unleashing various attacks on the invaders, which include soldiers carrying Japanese flags, ninjas and sumo wrestlers. The game plays music from “Tunnel Warfare,” a Chinese movie about the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Apple’s terms of service say that games on its App Store “cannot target a specific race, culture, real government or corporation or any other real entity,” China Daily said.

Apple’s Beijing-based spokeswoman Carolyn Wu didn’t immediately return calls to her office and mobile phones, or respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

The islands, known as the Senkaku in Japanese, are about 140 kilometers (87 miles) north of Japan’s Ishigaki Island between Taiwan and Okinawa. Sovereignty over the area would give the holder control of undersea natural gas and oil fields.

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