Thu, Mar 24, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Envoy to Tokyo defends policy toward Japan

CNA , TAIPEI

Japan's concern over Taiwan in terms of security as a result of Beijing's enactment of its "Anti-Secession" Law has become increasingly explicit, Taiwan's representative to Japan said yesterday.

Koh Se-kai (許世楷) said Japan's stance on the cross-Taiwan Strait issue has become clearer as the country increasingly feels the threat posed by China in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fielding questions at the Legislative Yuan Foreign Affairs Committee, Koh said that the Japanese government has expressed its intention to "demonstrate grave concern" and "conduct a possible intervention" in the event of incidents that may undermine cross-strait peace.

Koh said Japan is not legally allowed to organize its own military forces without amending Article 9 of its Constitution. But if cross-strait conflict erupts after the Japanese Constitution is amended, it will positively demonstrate its serious concern toward such conflict, Koh added.

Should cross-strait conflict occur prior to a Japanese constitutional amendment, Koh said, Japan would only be able to lend support, such as logistical aid, to the US military -- in the event that the US came to Taiwan's rescue militarily if a cross-strait war erupted.

Discounting criticism by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Su Chi (蘇起), who claimed that Taiwan's diplomacy toward Japan is nothing but "kowtow, independence and senility," Koh said he has done his utmost to maintain Taiwan's dignity while securing engagement with Japan.

Koh promised to look further into Taiwan's trade deficit with Japan, which soared by 50 percent to reach US$56.83 billion last year, saying that he will see to it that certain measures are adjusted.

Despite the fact that he is pro-Taiwan independence and that the establishment of a "Republic of Taiwan" is his personal ideal, Koh said that as a government functionary, his priority is to fulfill his governmental obligations.

"I know what I'm doing," Koh said in response to People First Party Legislator Sun Ta-chian (孫大千). He added he agrees with Sun that the best common ground for Taiwan for the time being is maintaining the Republic of China and securing the cross-strait status quo.

Meanwhile, Koh said, Japan will continue to support Taiwan in its bid to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA) , the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, this year, marking the third consecutive year that Japan has openly thrown its support behind Taiwan in this regard.

The Japanese government has promised that "what has been achieved will not be degraded," Koh said, adding that his office will continue to push for Japanese officials to voice support for Taiwan at the WHA. In addition, he said, a number of Taiwanese health officials are scheduled to visit Japan in April to enhance Taiwan's WHA lobby.

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