Taiwan to Remove Simplified Characters from All Official Documents

Taiwan to Remove Simplified Characters from All Official Documents
Yomiuri Shimbun: 中国の簡体字排除せよ…台湾当局が通達
Kazuhide Minamoto reporting from Taipei June 17, 2011

On the 15th, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou publicly announced that this month, before abolishing the restriction against individual Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan, the government would eliminate all simplified Chinese characters from its official websites and documents and replace them with the standard traditional characters.

The government is concerned that increased Chinese activity in Taiwan will lead to wider use of simplified characters and threaten the traditional writing system.

China originally used traditional characters, just like Taiwan, but in 1964 it established simplified characters. Since then, the two states have had difficult communicating with each other. For this reason, both governments were increasingly including both traditional and simplified writing in their websites and documents.

President Ma said when he took office in 2008 that “traditional characters are a symbol of Chinese culture,” and he supports having them designated a part of world heritage. Next year, President Ma is facing reelection, so he is trying to distance himself more from China. The simplified characters ban is thought to be linked to his reelection strategy.

On the 15th, the Tourism Division of the Taiwanese Transportation Department scrubbed simplified characters from its website. On the 14th, it announced restaurants and shopping centers, “It isn’t necessary to have menus and product explanations in simplified characters.” The government will not prohibit citizens from using simplified characters privately.

Original/原稿:

中国の簡体字排除せよ…台湾当局が通達

 【台北=源一秀】台湾の馬英九総統は15日、中国人の台湾個人観光の月内解禁を前に、公的機関のウェブサイトや配布文書から中国式の簡体字版を排除し、台湾で使われる伝統的な繁体字版で統一するよう異例の通達を出した。

 中国からの人の流れの活発化で簡体字が台湾に広まれば、伝統的漢字が失われかねないとの危機感がある。

 元来、台湾と同じく繁体字を使っていた中国は、1964年までに簡体字を確立。中台相互の漢字が理解しづらい状況が生まれた。このため、相手に配慮し、ウェブサイトや文書は官民共に両方の字体で編集するのが中台で一般化している。

 馬総統は、2008年の就任前から「繁体字は中華文化の象徴だ」とし、繁体字の世界遺産登録を主張している。また、馬総統は来年の総統選を控え、中国との距離を置く姿勢を強調しており、簡体字禁止も選挙戦術の一環とみられる。

 台湾当局は15日、交通部観光局がサイトから簡体字ページを削除。14日には飲食店や商店向けに「中国人観光客用のメニューや商品説明に簡体字を使う必要はない」とする声明を出した。ただ、民間での簡体字使用までは禁じていない。
(2011年6月17日06時59分 読売新聞)

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