Tokyo has expressed its concern to Beijing over two Japanese airlines replacing “Taiwan” with “Taiwan, China” on their Chinese-language websites earlier this month, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK World reported. Japan claimed China had pressured the airlines to make the change.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the country takes “a dim view” of governments making such demands from private companies to further their own political stance, NHK World reported.
The Taiwanese foreign ministry is urging the airlines to change the “improper labelling”, the country’s media reported. The island nation governs itself democratically, but China considers it an integral part of its territory.
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have said they made the change on June 12 to “accommodate customers”, AFP reported. The airlines’ websites in other languages still show the name “Taiwan”.
“We chose a description that is easy to understand and acceptable for users of our websites,” a Japan Airlines official said.
The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to 36 foreign airlines in April, asking them to comply with Beijing’s standard of referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories, according to AFP.