It’s the same in Alpha 3 (as well as every other version of AA40) - original control is indicated by the emblem on the territory, not by who controls it at the beginning of the game.
Thanks, I’m glad to know it is working as intended. The computer game just shows color, so I’m not sure what you mean by emblem. Maybe the cardboard game is different.
Open up the territory tap and hover your mouse over a territory. If should give you information about the original owner of that territory.
Do this to Kiangsu, you can see it is not an original Japanese territory, but an Chinese one.