Three Taiwanese to sue Japan to receive original citizenship back

Japan's move violated human rights principles: attorney

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Lin Yu-li is one of three Taiwanese men planning to sue the Japanese authorities.

Lin Yu-li is one of three Taiwanese men planning to sue the Japanese authorities. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Three elderly Taiwanese men born under Japanese occupation want to sue Japan in an unprecedented move to get their original citizenship back, reports said Thursday (October 3).

Yang Fu-cheng (楊馥成), 97, Lin Yu-li (林余立), 92, and Hsu Hua-chi (許華杞), 85, were born during Taiwan’s Japanese colonial period from 1895 to 1945.

They will take their case to a district court in Osaka because they feel the Japanese authorities acted unfairly in taking away their citizenship, the Central News Agency reported. Their attorney said nobody had ever presented such a case before.

After Japan was forced to withdraw from Taiwan in 1945, the two countries concluded the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952, while Japan’s Supreme Court ruled 10 years later that the treaty meant that Taiwanese-born people had lost their Japanese nationality.

The three men claim the change violated the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights because they were never asked if they wanted to give up their original nationality, so they should still be considered Japanese citizens. The court should listen to people who still identified with Japan, their attorney argued.