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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Card states Taiwanese as nationality

Staff writer

Taiwanese living in Japan will have only "Taiwanese" as their nationality on their new "zairyu" residence cards, which the Immigration Bureau began issuing Monday to replace alien registration cards.

Under the former alien registration card system, "Chinese" was entered as the nationality for Taiwanese. Starting last year, those who requested were able to have their cards state their nationality as "Chinese (Taiwanese)."

"I am excited. I am so glad that my card has the correct name of my home country," Michael Huang, 28, said after he obtained his residence card at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.

Taiwan is not a country recognized by the United Nations.

The decision to print "Taiwanese" as the nationality of Taiwanese came along with the revision to the immigration law, but Tokyo's diplomatic stance on Taiwan has not changed.

The revised immigration law stipulates that residence cards contain a nation or a region of nationality of card holders, in addition to their names, date of birth and other information. The Japanese government recognizes Taiwanese passports as valid documents, and thus residence cards given to Taiwanese have Taiwanese as their nationality, Immigration Bureau official Kazuyuki Motohari said.

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