DPP lawmaker touts Japanese 'Taiwan Relations Act' at security meeting

01/18/2022 08:46 PM
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From left, sitting: DPP lawmakers Lin Ching-yi, Wang Ting-yu and Chao Tien-lin. CNA photo Jan. 18, 2022
From left, sitting: DPP lawmakers Lin Ching-yi, Wang Ting-yu and Chao Tien-lin. CNA photo Jan. 18, 2022

Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) Japan should consider drafting its own version of the U.S. Taiwan Relations Act, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) suggested Tuesday during a meeting with Japanese politicians, saying it would further boost bilateral relations.

Chao urged Japanese lawmakers to follow the example of the United States and introduce a Taiwan Relations Act, which Washington did after severing official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1979.

Such a move would be an "important step" in further promoting Taiwan-Japan relations, he said.

The U.S. Taiwan Relations Act, promulgated in 1979, has served as the foundation for the U.S. policy toward Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries. It outlines the U.S. commitment to help Taiwan maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.

According to Chao, a Japanese version of the Taiwan Relations Act could include provisions to strengthen bilateral collaboration, push official contacts to a higher level, and elevate the treatment of diplomats from both countries.

Chao commented it was time for Japan to consider such legislation, claiming that there are more Taiwan-friendly lawmakers than ever before in the Japanese Diet.

Taiwan should also come up with corresponding legislation, the Japan Relations Act, in an effort to normalize exchanges between the two countries and allow the two sides to develop ties in a more equal and reciprocal way, Chao said at the first-ever Security Partnerships between Taiwan and Japan.

The virtual meeting was held for the first time in what DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) described as a new chapter for parliamentary exchanges between Taiwan and Japan on security issues.

However, no Taiwanese opposition figures attended the meeting Tuesday, and only one of the two Japanese politicians who took part in the talks is currently a lawmaker.

Commenting on Lin's proposal, Yasuhide Nakayama, Japan's former state minister for defense, said his party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), had been discussing the issue internally for some time.

Nakayama noted that the time was ripe for Japan to consider introducing a Taiwan Relations Act, without asserting whether the LDP would support such legislation.

China has exerted military and economic pressure on many countries while attempting to change the status-quo across the Taiwan Strait, Nakayama said, adding that Japan should not sit idly by under such circumstances.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) said Taiwan and Japan could collaborate on security issues and work together to combat overseas disinformation.

In response, Nakayama said it would be difficult for the Japanese authorities to collaborate on security issues, such as holding joint exercises, with Taiwan because Japan is bound by its agreement with China, which stipulates that Japan and Taiwan should maintain unofficial relationship and engage only in economic and cultural fields.

He was referring to the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China inked by Tokyo and Beijing in 1978.

Nakayama, nevertheless, agreed that the two sides could work on tackling disinformation through information sharing and other means.

(By Wang Yang-yu and Teng Pei-ju)


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