• Kyodo News

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Chinese trademark authorities, responding to a request from Tokyo, have decided to reject applications to register eight prefectural names in Japan as brands for agricultural and other products, the Japan Patent Office said Monday.

The decision reflects changes in China’s stance on the registration of Japanese prefectural and city names without their consent, the office said.

The eight prefectures are Nagano, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Kagawa, Fukuoka and Kagoshima.

An increasing number of individuals and companies in China and Taiwan have been trying to register Japanese prefectural and city names as brands for beverages, drugs, clothing and other products in a bid to enhance their images.

Chinese authorities said earlier this year that they would strictly screen such applications, according to the patent office.

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