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Taiwanese can use ¡¥Taiwan¡¦ on forms in Tokyo

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008, Page 3

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 (¦¶¤å²M), 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.



Tiananmen stains PRC pursuit of global glory

by Chen Lung-Chu ³¯¶©§Ó
Sunday, Jun 08, 2008, Page 8

Wednesday was the 19th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. In 1989, in order to maintain its authoritarian regime, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a bloody crackdown on students and dissidents gathered at Beijing¡¦s Tiananmen Square to urge the government to pursue political reform. The government labeled these peaceful protesters the face of a counter-revolutionary rebellion and ruthlessly crushed those guilty of ¡§subverting the state.¡¨

Democratic freedoms and human rights are universal. The US Declaration of Independence upholds the right to ¡§life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.¡¨ The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 proposes that ¡§men are born and remain free and equal in rights.¡¨ The UN¡¦s Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 states that ¡§all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.¡¨

Such appeals for the realization of democracy and the protection of human rights have become the standard for determining what makes a civilized country.

A civilized and progressive country is built on the foundation of democracy and the rule of law and it is the duty of the government to respect and protect the basic rights of each and every person and uphold universal values such as equality, justice, democracy and freedom.

Since its 1978 decision to pursue ¡§reform and openness,¡¨ China has in this relatively short time become the world¡¦s biggest manufacturer and increased its influence by wielding this economic clout.

The international community often labels this as the rise of China, referring to Beijing¡¦s growing political and military weight as well. The West is pressing China to exercise its newfound influence responsibly.

China is making every effort to give the impression of a rising power, and this is evident in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics in August.

Unfortunately, nearly two decades after the massacre at Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government still refuses to admit its past transgressions. In the face of the March protests in Tibet and the calls by Tibetans for Beijing to respect religious freedom and other human rights, China has chosen again to respond to an appeal with cruel military suppression rather than dialogue.

The Chinese government¡¦s brutal treatment of Tibet demonstrates that its gains in economic development and international influence have not shaken the government¡¦s authoritarian hand, which systematically oppresses democratic freedoms and denies 1.3 billion people basic human rights.

How long will such a regime last?

Chen Lung-chu is chairman of the Taiwan New Century Foundation.


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