politics

Japan says ties with Taiwan are only unofficial

27 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Japan's relations with Taiwan are nongovernmental and practical and are based on Tokyo's recognition of China as the sole legitimate government, a top Japanese official said Friday, following Beijing's protest over a recent reference to the island as a country.

As China flexes its muscle in the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region, the issue of Taiwan is a sensitive topic, especially as Japan, the United States and other democracies develop closer ties with the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as a renegade territory to be united by force if necessary.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a regular news conference Friday that "Japan's position is to maintain working relations with Taiwan at the nongovernment level," in line with the 1972 Japan-China Communique, when Tokyo switched the diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. "That's our basic policy and there is no change to that."

Kato's remark came a day after China protested Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's reference to Taiwan as a country during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.

Suga, while answering a question about pandemic measures, made a passing reference to Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia as "three countries."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday the comment violated Japan's "solemn promise to not regard Taiwan as a country."

"We strongly deplore Japan's erroneous remarks and have lodged solemn complaints with Japan, demanding that Japan immediately make clear clarifications to eliminate the adverse effects caused by relevant remarks, and to ensure that such situations will not happen again," Wang said.

On Friday, Japan's upper house of the parliament adopted a resolution calling on the World Health Organization to include Taiwan in its general meetings, saying its expertise on coronavirus measures is indispensable.

China has so far blocked the move, and has increased Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, leaving it with just over a dozen formal diplomatic allies. Taiwan still operates a network of trade offices around the world that act as de-facto embassies, including in the United States, Japan and most other major nations.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi carefully referred to Taiwan as "a region" in his brief remark emphasizing the importance of including the island for the benefit of international public health.

Japan also has donated 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan as it battles its largest outbreak of infections amid a shortage of jabs. Taiwan has blamed China for interfering in a potential deal for another vaccine.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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27 Comments
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Japan's relations with Taiwan are nongovernmental and practical and are based on Tokyo's recognition of China as the sole legitimate government, a top Japanese official said Friday, 

This is the right response; tell China what she wants to hear, gain market access, and keep milking the cash cow.

On the other hand, it’s fine if you want to make a point to China, but don’t make the farmers and fishermen or companies pay.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Craven. Everyone (except maybe the ANZACS) appears to be in thrall to China.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Taiwan still operates a network of trade offices around the world that act as de-facto embassies, including in the United States, Japan and most other major nations.

True. The Taiwanese citizens can also freely travel without visas in more countries than the PRC citizens can. Taiwan is freely and more frequently referred to among other countries in many official data whose amount is growing.

Beijing and "little pick" chauvinists' global nitpicking operations will end up failing.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Extremely weak to backtrack like this. Taiwan deserves diplomatic recognition and a place in the UN and WHO.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

One step forward then two steps back. Sad.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Same as most all other countries. But the longer Taiwan continues her independence, the more difficult it will be for her to rejoin the "motherland." It will never happen.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Look at what you have done! Allies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess that is what you call having it both ways

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Taiwan is a country, not a region.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

 tell China what she wants to hear

'China' (well 0,0000000000000000000000000001% of China, only the gang in power) want to hear the whole Ryukyu arch of islands is theirs. Starting with Singapore at the South... er but well, they'll demand that in a second step. Now they want Taiwan island, Senkaku ... and up North till Kyushu (not sure is Kyushu is included or not).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Next time a significant other asks, "what are we?" You can now official use the term, "we are only unofficial" and not feel bad about it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What did I say earlier today?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another show of spinelessness from the worlds number one at Gomasuri

6 ( +7 / -1 )

About time they recognised mainland China as a province of Taiwan!

The reality is that Taiwan is an independent fully functioning democratic country, it is only Chinese bullying that is preventing the recognition of Taiwan in international forums and moral cowardice preventing governments recognising Taiwan’s real status.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Boooo

show some dignity J

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If only the Japanese government were as fast at approving and distributing vaccines as it is betraying its Taiwanese allies all the population would have been already immune by February.

It is a shame but confronting the CCP requires an amount of power that the Japanese government simply doesn't have.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan trying to play both sides again.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

After reading comments on here, I can see many have never been to Taiwan..nor have I, well, I finally had a layover there, ONCE.

Taiwan is a stones’ throw from Okinawa…the other hot spot in the “Region”.

I suppose in politics, it’s best to simply get what you want by the Standard; Double Talk, but be careful what it breeds.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Beijing shouldn't be misled by or obsessed with frenzy nationalist-chauvinism. An independent Taiwan will benefit not only the western democracies including the neighbor Japan but also the mainland China. Taiwan never denies sinic cultural influences on the island alongside its legacy under Dutch and Japanese rules.

The Nationalist Kuomintang is ready to renounce its territorial claims across the Strait. The Republic of China is also ready to drop its China to become the Republic of Formosa :) That will also support "On(c)e China" policy. After normalizing the diplomatic relations the ROF will welcome the RPC to open its embassy in Taipei. All will be done peacefully and a win-win for almost all sides.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To use the words of the local government, I find it extremely regrettable how we ended up in a situation that so many countries are so heavily invested or reliant on Chinese economy that they need to tip toe just not to hurt the feelings of CCP.

Taiwan is one of the great examples of successful democracies in this region, being progressive on many fronts, yet it struggles to get the recognition it deserves. It's especially sad in the case of Western countries.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan just knows it’s a matter of time before China rules the world and will be seeking payback for all of Japan’s pleasantries during the 1930s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cowards.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh, so they caved already? Spineless traitors.

Why not hand over the Senkakus and Okinawa to the CCP right now, instead of postponing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is not Japan's war to fight. At the end of the WWII, Japan swore off war as an instrument of policy. Japan will only fight to defend Japan. This was the demand of the allied countries including the Republic of China.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unlike some countries, Japan respects International promise where Japan recognizes a part and understands and respects 2 other parts of a syllogism called One China Principle, for normalizing diplomatic relation with PRC.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the members of the G7 formally renounced the One China policy, what could China do?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What kind of tie constitute an unofficial tie?

Why not just say no political element is attached, only business?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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