Official urges Japan to change Taiwan's official description

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, Oct 26, 2007 - Page 3

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday called on the Japanese government to correct the nation's description on its alien resident certificates and other related documents from "China" to either "Republic of China" or "Taiwan."

Tsai Ming-yao (蔡明耀), deputy secretary-general of the ministry-affiliated Association of East Asian Relations, made the appeal at a press conference in response to a media inquiry.

The ministry has been communicating with Japan on its long-standing practice that lists the nationality of people from both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) on its alien resident certificates, driving licenses and graduate certificates as "China."

"Although the definition `China' doesn't mean the PRC and Japan is not suggesting that Taiwan is a province of the PRC [in those documents], we are still trying hard to get [Japan's government] to make a distinction [between the PRC and the ROC]," Tsai said.

Taiwan's representative to Japan, Lo Fu-chuan (羅福全), has been urging Japanese officials for years to list PRC nationals "PRC" and Taiwanese as either "ROC" or "Taiwan," a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"We have failed to make any progress on the matter as Japan has told us that its consistent policy is that the PRC is the sole representative of China," Tsai said yesterday.

When staying in Japan Tsai said he had complained to the Japanese government when the nationality column on his driving license was marked "China." But the Japanese vehicle office told Tsai he had to choose either PRC or China, saying that they were the only two options allowed in the country's rules and regulations.

"Of course, I didn't go for PRC," Tsai said, adding that the government would continue to negotiate with Japan in order to come up with a solution that was acceptable to both sides.