If pro-China forces in Taiwan then start to apply pressure on the government, forcing it to become fully dependent on China or to follow its direction, Japan will lose its geographically closest ally.
In reality, faced with China’s continued expansion of its interests in waters neighboring its territory, Taiwan’s and Japan’s interests will not only converge, they will become interdependent.
The bilateral talks about fishing rights between Taiwan and Japan will undoubtedly be an important measure when trying to judge whether or not relations between the two countries will continue to improve, even more so following President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) East China Sea initiative, which calls for disputes to be shelved and for cooperation.
Both Taiwan and Japan should be ready to discuss the fishing rights issue, and use this opportunity for a resolution of sorts. One can only hope that the new Japanese government will bring a breath of fresh air and improved efficiency.
Chiang Huang-chih is a law professor at National Taiwan University.
Translated by Perry Svensson