Mon, Dec 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

S Korea and Japan ties to improve post elections: report

GOOD NEIGHBORS:The report said that emerging leaders in both countries were known to be friendly toward Taiwan and would aim for regional peace

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s relations with Japan and South Korea are likely to “improve steadily” following national elections in both countries, said a report submitted to the legislature by the National Security Bureau.

Despite ongoing territorial disputes, relations among the countries remain stable and multilateral cooperation will continue, the bureau said in its report.

The report also said that the conservative Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, which regained power in parliamentary elections on Dec. 16, sees Taiwan as a focal point in maintaining security in East Asia and as an important player in relations among the US, Japan and China. As a result, party leader Shinzo Abe — who is likely to become the next prime minister of Japan — does not want to see volatility in the Taiwan Strait and is likely to aim at deepening Tokyo’s ties with Taipei while trying to improve relations with China, the report added.

Regarding the victory of South Korean president-elect Park Geun-hye on Wednesday, the report said bilateral ties with Seoul may improve because Park, who holds an honorary doctoral degree from the Chinese Culture University, has many friends in Taiwan and is familiar with the country.

However, the bureau said that the Taiwan-South Korea relationship may face trouble because Seoul often worries about Beijing’s reaction when dealing with Taiwan-related issues.

In addition, negotiations on a free-trade agreement between South Korea and China are expected to continue, the report said. If an agreement is reached, it could negatively affect Taiwan’s industrial development.

As for territorial disputes between Japan and South Korea, the report said Abe and Park, who are both conservatives, may seek to cooperate on attaining regional peace and economic stability even if divided by sovereignty issues and the historical legacy of World War II.

The bureau said it believed that interactions between Japan and South Korea would also steadily improve.

National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) and Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) are scheduled to discuss the report and present the government’s proposal on how to respond to the new political map of the region at a legislative session.

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