Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday warned that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in East Asia if leading powers do not respond as one, saying that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained.
Kishida, speaking in London through a translator after a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said now was the time for G7 nations to solidify their unity.
“Collaboration among countries sharing universal values becomes ever more vital,” he said. “We must collaborate with our allies and like-minded countries, and never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by the use of force in the Indo-Pacific [region], especially in East Asia.”
“Ukraine may be East Asia tomorrow,” he added.
“Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is critical not only for Japan’s security, but also for the stability of international society,” Kishida said. “Japan maintains its position to expect a peaceful resolution through dialogue to issues surrounding Taiwan, and the situation will be watched carefully from that perspective.”
In Taipei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) yesterday thanked Kishida for his comments, saying they “not only reflect the aspirations of democratic countries, but also win the recognition and approval of the international community.”
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) said that Japan was exaggerating a perceived threat from Beijing as an excuse to boost its military might.
“If Japan really wants peace and stability in East Asia, it should immediately stop provoking confrontation between big powers and do more to help increase the trust between regional countries, and promote regional peace and stability,” Zhao told a regular news briefing in Beijing.
During the London meeting, Johnson announced that the militaries of the UK and Japan would “work more closely together’” under a defense deal.
Kishida also announced new sanctions, including an asset freeze on 140 Russians and the expansion of an export ban to include Russian military firms.
Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party has also proposed a substantial increase in defense spending — possibly to an amount on par with 2 percent of GDP, up from 1 percent — and the development of the capacity to attack missile-launching sites in an enemy’s territory.
In Washington, Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday vowed to defend the rules-based international order in a meeting at the Pentagon.
The US and Japan would enhance cooperation to oppose China’s expansionism in the East and South China seas to prevent any change by force to the “status quo” in the region, they said.
The countries are to counter threats emanating from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and North Korea’s nuclear tests, they added.
Tokyo is to revise its National Security Strategy to allow the possession of counterstrike capabilities against long-range missiles before the end of the year, Kishi said.
Austin was quoted by the Pentagon as saying that the US reaffirms “unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan to include our extended deterrence commitments using our full range of conventional and nuclear capabilities.”
Additional reporting by Lin Tsuei-yi and Jonathan Chin, with CNA, AP and the Guardian
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
LIVING WITH COVID-19: Close contacts with a booster shot would no longer follow the ‘3+4’ policy, instead practicing ‘0+7,’ or self-disease prevention for seven days Close contacts of COVID-19 cases who have received a booster shot no longer need to isolate at home, but should practice seven days of “self-disease prevention,” effective today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting at 12am today, close contacts — people living in the same household — of those confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are exempt from home isolation if they have received a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Data from other countries show that people who have received a booster shot are
‘TOO RESTRICTIVE’: Ending US sales of weapons that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric’ would hamper Taiwan’s defense against China, two business groups said Taiwan’s weapons procurement decisions are made based on its needs, and are not influenced by individual arms dealers, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday after two US business groups questioned a US official’s comment on arms sales to Taiwan. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick told the business groups via video link on Saturday that Washington would adjust the types of weapons sold to Taiwan and end “most arms sales to Taiwan that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric.’” The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and the US-Taiwan Business Council on Monday
MANY VOICES: The Formosa Club, 94 Mexican lawmakers, 70 Brazilian lawmakers and others signed a letter recommending Taiwan’s inclusion to the WHO director-general A WHO official on Monday said the organization would begin discussing a motion to restore Taiwan’s observer status in six days’ time, after confirming the receipt of a request from 13 member states to deliberate the matter. Steven Solomon, the WHO principal legal officer, made the comment at a news briefing ahead of the 75th meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the organization’s decisionmaking body in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHA Executive Board would meet in a closed-door session on Sunday evening to advise the member states, which would then meet the next day to determine whether the motion would be entered