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Taiwan calls on Japanese library to correct designation

02/20/2024 02:18 PM
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The English registration page on Japan's National Diet Library's (NDL) website that has Taiwan designated as a "Province of China." Photo courtesy of All Japan Taiwanese Union
The English registration page on Japan's National Diet Library's (NDL) website that has Taiwan designated as a "Province of China." Photo courtesy of All Japan Taiwanese Union

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) Taiwan's government has officially issued a protest to a Japanese state-run library over its wrongful designation of Taiwan as a part of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on its website.

The ministry found that a drop-down menu on the English version of the National Diet Library's (NDL) website lists Taiwan as "Taiwan, Province of China" while the Japanese version simply uses "Taiwan," said Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Jeff Liu (劉永健) on Tuesday.

He was referring to a drop-down menu that asks applicants trying to set up an NDL account to click on their country of residence.

Liu reiterated the government's stance that neither the Republic of China (Taiwan) nor the PRC is subordinate to the other, and it called on the NDL to swiftly correct the mistake.

MOFA has also asked its representative office in Tokyo to contact the NDL directly to lodge a protest, Liu said.

The comments came after a group of overseas Taiwanese in Japan recently discovered the designation after a new version of the NDL's website went online on Jan. 15.

The All Japan Taiwanese Union (AJTU) sent a letter of protest addressed to NDL Director General Motonobu Yoshinaga on Sunday that demanded a swift correction of the wrongful designation, which it described as "erroneous and humiliating to Taiwanese."

The AJTU said in its letter that Taiwan is a democratic sovereign state independent from the communist PRC regime.

It was not clear if the letter reached Yoshinaga, but as of noon Tuesday, the drop-down menu on the library's had not been revised.

Founded in 1948, the NDL was established for the purpose of assisting members of the National Diet of Japan in researching matters of public policy.

The library is similar in purpose and scope to the United States Library of Congress.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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