President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday told a visiting Japanese parliamentarian delegation that Taiwan looks forward to working with Tokyo on efforts to maintain the stability of the Indo-Pacific region.
In livestreamed remarks made ahead of a closed-door meeting with the delegation led by former Japanese minister of defense Shigeru Ishiba, Tsai said Taiwan would work with Japan and other democratic partners to contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
The security of Taiwan is important not only in terms of protecting the nation’s sovereignty, but also the defensively strategic “first island chain,” she said.
Photo: AP / Presidential Office
Ishiba, who arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, said his four-day trip is aimed at fostering exchanges with Taiwanese officials on how the two nations should collaborate on security matters.
“We need to think ahead about what kind of situations could happen, what kind of laws and agreements we should prepare, and what kind of armaments we could use,” he said in prepared remarks. “We need to work together to reach consensus on this ahead of anything that could happen.”
Ishiba said that Japan is also working closely with the US to prevent conflict in the Indo-Pacific region, adding that the defense allies “had no choice” but to prepare.
The four-member delegation includes another former Japanese minister of defense, Yasukazu Hamada, as well as former deputy minister of defense Akihisa Nakashima and Takayuki Shimizu.
Taiwan said all four delegates are members of a Japanese parliamentarian association on security issues founded by Ishiba and Hamada in November 2019.
Ishiba, who served as defense minister from 2007 to 2008, said that Japan had responsibility for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region and that it was an issue that former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had paid special attention to.
It was regrettable that the Abe — who died on July 8 — was unable to continue his work, Ishiba said, adding that he wished to carry on what was left unfinished by Abe and actively work on regional security affairs.
Additional reporting by AP
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