The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday welcomed a report that Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is planning to hold security talks with the DPP soon, possibly this month.
The talks, to be held at the LDP’s request, would be attended by LDP Foreign Affairs Division Director Masahisa Sato and National Defense Division Director Taku Otsuka, the English-language Japan Times reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.
The talks are regarded as a “two-plus-two” security dialogue between the ruling parties of Taiwan and Japan, while participants from Taiwan have not been decided, it reported.
In light of growing tension between Taiwan and China, the LDP established a project team under its Foreign Affairs Division in February to discuss relations between Taiwan and Japan, it reported.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told an online news briefing in Taipei that the ministry is glad to see Taiwanese lawmakers deepen relations with their counterparts and major politicians in like-minded countries.
However, the ministry, in compliance with administrative neutrality, could not provide any comment on planned meetings among political parties, she said.
If the Japan Times report is accurate, the talks would signal a major leap in relations, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said.
The LDP taking this step indicates that Japan is significantly adjusting its diplomatic and regional security policies, which could be interpreted in Taiwan as a meaningful development, he said.
Wang also shared a screen capture on Facebook of his video talk with Japanese State Minister of Defence Yasuhide Nakayama, the country’s No. 2 defence official. The talk was arranged with the help of some friends, Wang said.
“We are not friends of Taiwan, we are brothers,” Nakayama said when speaking about the transformation of Japan’s security strategy during an online event hosted by US think tank the Hudson Institute on June 28.
DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) said that the DPP has been promoting party-to-party diplomacy, and its interactions with foreign parties are not impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regarding the planned meeting reported by the Japan Times, Hsieh said that the DPP cannot confirm it presently, but would offer details at a later time.
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