Renaming Japan’s representative office in Taipei as the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association would help lessen misunderstandings and reflect Taiwan’s burgeoning relationship with Japan, association president Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) said yesterday at the official unveiling of the association’s new doorplate in Taipei.
“While people were clear about what we were concerned with when the office was first established, as time has gone by, many no longer have a clue,” Chiou said, recalling how he once received a telephone call asking him to resolve an issue in Hawaii.
“Finally” changing the name of the non-governmental agency, formerly known as the Association of East Asian Relations, Taiwan, after almost 45 years lends clarity to the association’s mission, he said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The association was established in 1972 to handle relations with Japan after diplomatic ties were broken off, with its Tokyo branch — the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan — also serving as Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the nation.
While officially a civic organization under government contract, most employees simultaneously hold positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The name change follows a similar change on the part of its Japanese counterpart earlier this year, which changed its name from Interchange Association, Japan to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association.
“Before we changed our name, a lot of people were not clear about our mission — we even had people calling and asking us about marriage matches,” Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Representative Mikio Numata said, adding that the renaming is a “historic step,” as its name now conforms with reality.
“The name changes not only help the outside world understand the substantial content of both associations’ work — it also verifies the continued positive development of Taiwan-Japanese relations,” Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said.
Relations have “never been better or more intimate,” he said, citing record-high bilateral trade and tourism.
Any discussion of renaming the Coordination Council for North American Affairs — which handles relations with the US — would have to wait until US President Donald Trump fills key Department of State vacancies, he said.
The ministry’s Japanese Political Affairs director, Fu Kuo-hua (傅國華), said the name changes primarily reflected a shift in Taiwan’s stance.
Japan had proposed using “Taiwan-Japan” to name the associations when official diplomatic ties were first broken off, but the proposal was rejected by Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) administration, which wanted to use “Chinese-Japanese,” he said.
China yesterday called the name change a “conspiracy” and urged Japan not to send “false signals” to Taiwan and the international community.
“We strongly object to this attempt to upgrade Japanese-Taiwanese relations,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said. “We urge the Japanese government to scrupulously abide by the principles of the Japan-China Joint Communique, as well as all the promises which Japan has made to China to the present, including holding firm to the ‘one China’ principle.”
“The Japanese government should take concrete action to correct wrong methods and should not send false signals to Taiwan’s government and the international community, creating new interference for Sino-Japanese relations,” she said. “We also want to tell the Taiwanese government that any attempt to create ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’ is doomed to failure.”
Additional reporting by CNA
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
IMPORTS: Fifty-four million imported eggs with a value of more than NT$200 million had to be destroyed, mostly because they expired in storage facilities Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) last night announced that he would resign from his post. Local media on Sunday reported that Chen had resigned due to controversy over the ministry’s egg import program. Later that same evening, the Executive Yuan said that Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) had asked the minister to stay on to resolve the issue. Chen Chi-chung last night made public his decision to resign on Facebook, saying that this time he would not be dissuaded. Chen Chi-chung earlier yesterday apologized for the furor surrounding the egg import program, but added that misinformation had made the problems worse. The government was