Wed, Mar 06, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ministry communicating with Tokyo on security

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee speaks at a news conference at the ministry in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it would continue to communicate with Japan concerning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) proposal that Taipei and Tokyo engage in a security dialogue after Chinese state media quoted an anonymous Japanese official as rejecting the proposal.

The Web site of the Global Times reported earlier yesterday that in an interview with the newspaper, a Japanese foreign affairs official on Monday said that the Japanese government would not consider Taiwan’s proposal for a security dialogue.

The official, who was not named, was quoted as saying that Japan has abided by the 1972 Sino-Japanese Joint Statement in its policy toward Taiwan and that nothing has changed regarding the nature of Tokyo’s relationship with Taipei, which is unofficial.

When asked for comment at a news conference in Taipei yesterday, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said that the government has received relevant information from Japan, but declined to reveal any details out of respect for customary diplomatic practices.

The ministry would continue to communicate with Japan about security through various channels, Lee said.

Lee said the purpose of Tsai’s proposal was to draw the attention of Japan and other nations to the reality that the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait and in the Indo-Pacific region is being altered.

“That is why the president suggested that both sides engage in dialogue and cooperation on non-traditional security issues,” he said.

Tsai made the proposal during an interview with the Japanese Sankei Shimbun that was published on Saturday, in which the president expressed her intent to conduct direct dialogue with the Japanese government on cybersecurity and regional security issues.

“We, in many ways, face the same security threats as Japan. We are all located in East Asia, a region where the sources of security threats could impact Taiwan and Japan at the same time,” Tsai said, calling for an increase in bilateral dialogue and cooperation on security issues.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) made a similar proposal during an interview with the Sankei Shimbun in June last year, when he said that formal diplomatic relations should not be a precondition for security dialogue.

Wu also hinted at the possibility of engaging in dialogue with Japan in a non-public manner.

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