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Japanese publisher ignores Taiwan's request to amend dictionary entry for 'Taiwan'

Iwanami Shoten has responded that it 'understands and respects' China's claim to Taiwan

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Japanese publisher ignores Taiwan's request to amend dictionary entry for 'Taiwan'

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tokyo has lodged a complaint with a large book publisher, Iwanami Shoten, urging them to amend the entry for “Taiwan” in the company’s popular dictionary series.

The dictionary series Kojien, published since 1955, is considered to be the most authoritative dictionary in Japan according to the Japan Times.

Its entry for Taiwan includes the dubious designation that the island is a“province of China.”

Earlier in the month on Dec. 11, the TECO offices lodged an official complaint with the publisher to correct the error.

However on Friday Dec. 22, the publisher officially responded that their definition for “Taiwan” in the Kojien represents the company’s position of respecting China’s claims to Taiwan.

Although the publisher likely presumes the statement will end the issue, it may instead have sparked an increased interest in the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty in Japanese media and publishing circles.

On Monday, a representative at the TECO office said that the statement from Iwanami Shoten was “regrettable.”

The exchange between the publisher and the Taiwanese government comes just ahead of the newest seventh edition of the dictionary, which is set to hit shelves on Jan. 12.

People interested in contacting the publisher may use the contact form on their official website (in Japanese), or might consider contacting them at the Iwanami Shoten Twitter or official Facebook account.


Updated : 2021-07-24 05:44 GMT+08:00