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Whoops! Google's D-Day Doodle honors ... Japan

Blames technical mixup for Go-themed art on 70th WWII anniversary

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Google has apologized for publishing a Google Doodle honoring a Japanese Go player on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, blaming a technical glitch.

"We always intended to highlight a new exhibition of imagery and archive material commemorating D-Day on our homepage," the online ad-slinger said in a statement. "Unfortunately a technical error crept in and for a short period this morning an international doodle also appeared. We're sorry for the mistake, and we're proud to honor those who took part in D-Day."

Google regularly publishes artistic variations on its logo to coincide with holidays and other historically significant events.

These so-called Doodles are often just graphical flourishes, but occasionally they can be elaborate interactive apps, such as the playable version of Pac-Man that the company offered for the 30th anniversary of that famed arcade game in 2010.

On Friday, the company unveiled a logo honoring Honinbo Shusaku, a 19th-century Go champion considered by many to be one of the greatest players of the game in all of history.

Google Doodle honoring Honinbo Shusaku

Not that D-Day had particularly much to do with Japan, but this was probably a bad idea

Unfortunately, the day also happened to be the anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II, one of the most notable dates in a conflict in which Japan sided with Hitler's Germany against the countries where most of us now live.

Around 4 million Allied soldiers lost their lives in the Pacific War against Japan, as did countless millions of civilians.

Along with its apology, Google withdrew the Doodle and replaced it with a page commemorating the Normandy landings. ®

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