Sat, Dec 29, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Tokyo opposes Taiwan's UN referendum: Fukuda

AFP , BEIJING

Tokyo opposes Taiwan's planned referendum on UN membership, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said yesterday after holding talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶).

"We don't want a situation in which Taiwan's referendum leads to tensions between [the two sides]," said Fukuda, who is in China for a four-day visit.

China has been angered by the Democratic Progressive Party's insistence on holding a referendum alongside the presidential election next year on whether to seek UN membership using the name "Taiwan."

Many countries, including the US, have opposed the referendum, saying it could be seen as a step to declaring full independence.

"I told Prime Minster Wen that we can't support any unilateral action that is aimed at changing the `status quo,'" Fukuda said.

The Japanese prime minister's comment came after Wen told reporters that "the Chinese side understands that Japan will keep its one China policy and will not support Taiwan's independence."

"Prime Minister Fukuda assured me that he wouldn't support Taiwan's referendum," Wen said.

Tokyo switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1972 and has since barred official contacts with Taiwan.

Also see: US-Taiwan relations solid: Huang

Also see: Japan, China bolster ties during four-day summit

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