TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese company is recalling 10,000 Chinese-made electronic talking globes after customers complained that self-governing Taiwan was labeled part of the People's Republic of China.
The ''Smart Globe'' sold by Tokyo-based Gakken calls Taiwan — which split from communist China amid civil war in 1949 — ''Taiwan Island'' and says it comes under the jurisdiction of Beijing, the company said Thursday.
An electronic voice tells users pointing to Taiwan that the island is part of the People's Republic of China, the official name of the Chinese communist regime, according to Gakken spokesman Satoru Aihara.
He said Gakken's Chinese manufacturer refused to produce the globes — which are sold only in Japan — unless Taiwan was labeled as Chinese territory.
''Selling these globes was a serious error on our part,'' Aihara said. ''Unfortunately we let cost considerations override sound judgment.''
There was no official complaint from Taipei, Aihara said.
The company has sold about 10,000 Smart Globes since August, he said. Owners returning the globes will be reimbursed the full price of $269.
Beijing continues to see Taiwan, the self-governing island of 23 million people, as part of its territory and has promised to attack if Taiwan moves to make its de facto independence permanent.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said she did not have details about the issue, but added, ''I believe the one-China policy is universally recognized by the international community,'' referring to China's policy of demanding that all nations regard Taiwan as a part of Chinese territory.