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Political party urges Taiwanese to stand for 'Taiwan 2020 Tokyo'

2017/08/13 16:15:03

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) held a rally in Taipei on Sunday to call for local support of a Japanese-initiated petition stating that Taiwan should use the name "Taiwan" to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

TSU Deputy Secretary General Wang Ming-yun (王銘源) said Japanese citizens launched a petition last year to have Taiwan's Olympic team compete under the name "Taiwan" rather than the current "Chinese Taipei," and nearly 10,000 people in Japan have endorsed it.

"Taiwan can't allow the Japanese to see it as a laughingstock. The Japanese are helping us push this, and Taiwanese cannot react by doing absolutely nothing and think that Chinese Taipei is the best name," Wang said.

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), has been competing under the name "Chinese Taipei" at Olympics Games since 1984, after China refused to let it participate independently at the 1976 Games in Montreal.

The name is part of a so-called "Olympic model" established in an agreement reached between Taiwan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1981, after the ROC's seat in the United Nations was replaced by the People's Republic of China (PRC) 10 years earlier.

Under the agreement, only the name "Chinese Taipei" -- not "Taiwan" or "Republic of China (ROC)" -- is allowed to be used at Olympic venues, and Taiwan cannot use its national flag or national anthem at Olympic events.

According to Wang, a Japanese civil group, called Taiwan Research Forum, began the "Taiwan 2020" petition last year, and has continued to gather signatures of people in support of the call on streets in Tokyo.

Soon after learning of the Japanese campaign, the TSU contacted the group's leader, Hideki Nagayama (永山英樹), to offer to take charge of collecting signatures in Taiwan, Wang said.

He said his party has filed a protest over the name issue to Sports Administration Director-General Lin Te-fu (林德福), but Lin responded that it would be "impossible" for the name "Taiwan" to replace "Chinese Taipei" at the Olympics, Wang said, criticizing the agency for refusing to even try.

TSU Youth Department Director Hsu Ya-chi (許亞齊), who is heading the Taiwan endorsement campaign, said the party will invite Nagayama to Taiwan for a joint press conference at which it will hand over the signatures collected in Taiwan.

Hsu said he hoped those signatures will in turn be delivered to the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly along with those from Japanese people.

(By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)
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