After receiving a warning from China, Japan retracts its remarks about Taiwan being a country.
After Beijing was enraged by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s passing reference to Taiwan as a country, Japan has underlined its official policy of supporting Chinese sovereignty over the island.
According to the Associated Press, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference on Friday that “Japan’s position is to maintain working contacts with Taiwan at the nongovernment level” in accordance with the 1972 Japan-China Communique.
“That is our primary stance, and it will not change,” Kato stated.
The deal between Beijing and Tokyo saw Tokyo cut connections with Taiwan and replace them with diplomatic connections with the People’s Republic of China. Japan has maintained unofficial connections with Taipei, but Japanese officials have made a point of referring to the self-governing island as a “region” rather than a country.
During a Wednesday parliamentary session, Suga, the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, enraged Beijing by mentioning Taiwan as one of “three countries”—along with Australia and New Zealand—that had taken tighter measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. During the same Diet session, opposition leader Yukio Edano of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan apparently referred to Taiwan as a country.
In a daily press briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused Sugam of violating “Japan’s long-standing vow not to consider Taiwan as a country,” adding that the Taiwan issue “concerns the political core of China-Japan relations.”
China has “lodged solemn representations” with Japan, Wang added, expressing its “deep unhappiness with the erroneous remarks.”
He urged Tokyo to “earnestly maintain its commitment, be cautious with its words and deeds, and not to violate China’s sovereignty in any manner,” saying, “China asks that Japan make an early clarification to undo the harm already caused, and guarantee that a similar occurrence will never happen again.”
According to the Associated Press, Japan’s upper house of parliament passed a motion on Friday requesting the World Health Organization to include Taiwan in its meetings, citing its essential knowledge on COVID-19 measures. The move has been thwarted by China.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen expressed gratitude to Japan for providing AstraZeneca COVID vaccinations to the island on Friday, June 4, extolling the “Taiwan-Japan partnership founded on shared values and mutual support.” She also conveyed her gratitude to the United States for. This is a condensed version of the information.