Mon, Sep 12, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Cable shows Japan official said Taiwan part of China

PICKING SIDES:A Japanese official made the comment to his Chinese counterparts when he asked them why Beijing was nervous about Tsai Ing-wen visiting Japan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

A US cable released by WikiLeaks shows that Kenji Yamaoka, who was appointed chairman of the National Public Safety Commission in the Cabinet of newly appointed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, considered Taiwan China’s territory.

A Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) member of the House of Representatives in the Diet, Yamaoka was quoted in a cable dated Dec. 24, 2009, as having told Chinese officials that Japan’s diplomatic stance was that “Taiwan is a part of China.”

Yamaoka invited US diplomats to his office on Dec. 17, 2009, a few days after Ichiro Ozawa, then DJP secretary-general, and himself had returned from a trip to China, where they met Chinese Minister of National Defense Liang Guanglie (梁光烈).

The cable, originating from the US embassy in Tokyo, was released on Sept. 1.

During the meeting, Yamaoka said that Chinese counterparts raised concerns about Japan’s decision to invite Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to Japan from Dec. 13 through Dec. 16 that year, the cable shows.

In response, Yamaoka said he asked the Chinese side “why Beijing was so nervous despite Japan’s clear diplomatic stance that Taiwan is a part of China,” the cable shows.

The remark made by Yamaoka was not inconsistent with a joint communique previously issued by the Japanese government and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

According to the communique, the PRC government reiterated that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the PRC. The government of Japan “fully understands and respects this stand” of the PRC government and it firmly maintains its stand under Article 8 of the Potsdam Declaration.

Separately, a cable dated Oct. 26, 2007, from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) reveals that Tadashi Ikeda, former Japanese representative to Taiwan, personally favored DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) over Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the 2008 presidential election.

Ikeda told then-AIT director Stephen Young that “while Japan will maintain nominal neutrality over Taiwan’s presidential contest, its sentiments were more with the DPP and Frank Hsieh, for both personal and historical reasons,” the cable shows.

“Ikeda took note of the US position that we would remain neutral in upcoming Taiwan presidential elections. While this was Tokyo’s formal position as well, he proceeded to tell me that historically his government has not been well disposed toward the KMT,” the cable says.

In February 2008, Young visited Japan to discuss the upcoming Taiwanese election, Japan’s ties with China and Taiwan, and cross-strait relations in separate meetings, a cable dated Feb. 27, 2008, from the US embassy in Tokyo showed.

“Japan and the United States have the ability to influence Taiwan and buttress its confidence, and should continue to consult closely with each other on Taiwan issues to help Taiwan maneuver in the face of a more aggressive China,” the cable quotes Young as saying.

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs China and Mongolia Division Director Takeo Akiba raised the possibility of “jointly approaching first the Taiwan authorities and then the government in Beijing to call for greater dialogue and CBMs [confidence building measures].”

Japan’s former ambassador to China, Sakutaro Tanino, told Young that “China’s lack of military transparency and Beijing’s continued suspicion over Japan’s Taiwan policy, however, still threaten to impede ties [between the two countries], ” the cable says.

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