Japan’s Tokyo Prefecture has announced that resident foreigners can use the term “Taiwan” instead of “China” on their household registration, or koseki, in its jurisdiction, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday.
CNA cited a report in the Japanese-language daily Sankei Shimbun yesterday as saying that Tokyo Prefecture would allow in-coming residents from Taiwan to register using the term “Taiwan” for their nation of origin.
This is the first instance in which a Japanese prefecture has allowed the use of the term “Taiwan” in official documents, and will help ensure the rights of Taiwanese residents abroad in Tokyo, CNA said.
CNA quoted Chu Wen-ching (朱文清), information division chief of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, Taiwan’s de facto embassy, as saying that the office welcomes the move. Chu said that allowing Taiwanese to use “Taiwan” on official documents has been a long-term goal.
In 1987, Tokyo Prefecture ordered that all entry or exit documents for Taiwanese residents use the term “China” on alien registration paperwork required for foreigners in Japan. However, there have also been occasional uses of the terms “China (Taiwan)” and “the Chinese province of Taiwan.”
The alien registration, household registration, and drivers’ licenses of Taiwanese in Japan have, up to now, been registered under “China.”
The CNA report said that it remains to be seen whether the new regulation in Tokyo would affect other local governments in Japan.
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