China and Taiwan have long been in political disputes ever since the latter sought to gain independence for it’s 23 million residence, according to The New York Times.
The tensions have not only affected Taiwan’s foreign ties but multinational corporations doing business in China and Taiwan are also feeling the heat.
Earlier this year, Australia’s Qantas airline defended it’s decision to list Taiwan as part of China in response to the Chinese Civil Aviation Authorities asking 36 foreign airlines to comply with Beijing’s standard of referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.
Now Japan’s two largest airlines have followed suite by changing “Taiwan” to “China Taiwan” on their Chinese-language websites.
According to a report by AFP, both Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) said the change was intended to make the description easier to understand for customers using the websites.
However the description remains “Taiwan” on their websites in Japanese and other languages.
The change has sparked immediate protest from Taiwan’s foreign ministry which said it was lodging protests with the two airlines and demanded a correction to the “inappropriate title”.
The ministry added that such a move will “only increase resentment among Taiwanese people and severely harm cross strait relations”.
While Japan has close business ties with Taiwan, it has also acknowledged the “One China” policy which describes the island as an integral part of China.