To Counter Beijing, Japan Moves Closer to Taiwan


A report from Kyodo News International says that lawmakers from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are trying to create a Japanese version of the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. law that governs Washington’s relations with Taipei. Japan does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but the proposed law would seek to formalize the current unofficial ties. Specifically, the law would create “a basis for strengthening economic relations and personal exchange” with the island. The law is championed by Japan-Taiwan Young Parliamentary Association on Economic Exchange, a group chaired by Nobuo Kishi, who happens to be the younger brother of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It’s unclear how broad of political support the new law would have or what the specifics would be.

Despite this, China wasted no time expressing its displeasure. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters that China was “deeply concerned” by the news. “The Taiwan Question concerns China’s core interests. Whether Japan-Taiwan relations can be properly handled or not has a bearing on the political foundation of China-Japan relations,” Hua said. She added that China was “firmly opposed” to the “attempt to strengthen Japan-Taiwan relations.” An article by China’s state media organization Xinhua summarized Hua’s remarks, further reiterating China’s opposition to the move.

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