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Taiwan welcomes U.S.-Japan joint statement on Asian security

2012/05/02 16:07:02

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) Taiwan welcomed a joint statement by the United States and Japan aimed at strengthening cooperation to advance security in the Asia-Pacific region, a government spokesman said Wednesday, describing it as a milestone for peaceful development in East Asia.

"From the perspective of Taiwan, I think the statement (helps) stabilize power relations in East Asia," Cabinet spokesman Philip Yang said. "Taiwan welcomes and supports such a statement."

Yang was speaking at a one-day seminar held in Taipei to discuss Taiwan-Japan relations over the 40 years since the two countries severed diplomatic ties in 1972.

As Taiwan continues to improve its ties with China, it also hopes to further strengthen relations with Japan and the U.S. in the areas of trade and security, Yang said.

The U.S.-Japan joint statement, released April 30, said that both sides will enhance security and defense cooperation to help advance the peace, security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, "which faces diverse challenges in a changing international environment."

Echoing Yang's remarks, Lo Fu-chen, Taiwan's former representative to Japan, said at the seminar that Taiwan plays an important role in the U.S.-Japan alliance's strategic defense line and can help ensure peace and stability in Asia in the face of a rising China.

The development of Taipei-Tokyo ties will also play a part in maintaining peace in Asia, Lo said, adding that both countries are part of an Asian alliance of democratic nations.

Also at the seminar was Tadashi Ikeda, Japan's former representative in Taiwan, who hailed the closer partnership signaled by the U.S.-Japan statement and said the statement could influence Taiwan's diplomacy.

Taiwan has taken notice of U.S. intentions and the closer relationship between Washington and Tokyo, which is "a good thing," he said.

(By Elaine Hou)