Three Taiwanese born during the Japanese colonial period in Taiwan are planning to seek legal action to ask the Japanese government to restore their Japanese nationality, the Sankei Shimbun reported on Thursday.
Yang Fu-cheng (楊馥成), 97, Lin Yu-li (林余立), 92, and Hsu Hua-chi (許華杞), 85, will soon take the case to an Osaka local court to restore their Japanese nationality, which they lost after the end of World War II, the report quoted their lawyer, Shinichi Tokunaga, as saying.
It would be the first such case to be filed in a Japanese court by Taiwanese born in Taiwan when it was ruled by Japan, the lawyer was quoted as saying.
The three are asking the Tokyo government to restore their Japanese nationality based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to a nationality” and “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality,” the report said.
After the Treaty of San Francisco that Japan inked with 48 other countries to end the US-led Allied occupation of Japan came into force on April 28, 1952, Tokyo renounced its jurisdiction over Taiwan.
However, this treaty also introduced the problem of the legal status of Taiwan, as it did not specify to which country Taiwan was to be surrendered. As a result, the sovereignty of Taiwan remains undetermined, Taiwanese independence campaigners say.
Neither the Republic of China (ROC) nor the People’s Republic of China were invited to sign the Treaty of San Francisco due to disagreements by other countries as to which government was the legitimate government of China during and after the Chinese Civil War.
Under pressure from the US, Japan signed the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty with the ROC (also known as the Treaty of Taipei) in April 1952 to bring the war between the two sides to an end, with victory for the ROC.
The Japanese Supreme Court in December 1962 ruled that after the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty took effect in August 1952, people born in Taiwan as Japanese nationals automatically lost their Japanese nationality.
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