Japanese support would go a long way toward helping Taiwan join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday in an appeal to the incoming administration in Tokyo.
Former Japanese minister of foreign affairs Fumio Kishida, 64, won the leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) early on Wednesday in the second round of voting, which positioned him to take over the reins of the country from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga early next month.
At an online news conference, Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Secretary-General Chou Shyue-yow (周學佑) extended his congratulations to Kishida.
The outcome has raised hopes that Kishida would support Taiwan’s bid to join the CPTPP, given his vocal support for Taiwan during the campaign.
Taiwan and Japan both hold strategic positions in the Indo-Pacific region, Chou said.
As one of the most influential economies in the CPTPP, Japan could play an important role in helping Taiwan join the trade pact, he said, adding that Taipei looks forward to working with the new administration on deepening mutually beneficial ties through regional trade arrangements.
As for Taiwan’s continued ban on imports of food products from five Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster, Chou reiterated the ministry’s position that it would respect the decision of food safety experts.
The ministry would continue to seek bilateral dialogue on the issue under the premise of ensuring food safety, and in accordance with international norms and data, he added.
In related news, Yuki Tatsumi, a Japanese academic at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington, on Wednesday said that Kishida is unlikely to soften his country’s foreign policy toward Beijing.
While Kishida has long been on the dovish side of the LDP with regard to China policy, he was at the forefront of a more hardline stance on a number of issues during his campaign for the party’s presidency, Tatsumi said during a Webinar titled “Warming Japan-Taiwan Ties: Implications for East Asia,” hosted by the Jamestown Foundation in Washington.
For example, Kishida has proposed appointing a special adviser to Japan’s prime minister on human rights issues in China, she said.
The hawkish stance is a major shift in Tokyo’s policy toward Beijing, and it signals consensus on the importance of Taiwan and the role Japan would play in the event of conflict across the Taiwan Strait, she said.
Japan’s cross-strait policy has changed amid concern over the Chinese military’s increasingly aggressive actions in the seas and air near Taiwan and Japan, and in the South China Sea, she said.
Against that backdrop, Japanese politicians, especially those in the LDP, have revised their stance toward Taipei and are considering further improvement of bilateral relations, she said.
‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’: The ‘Global Times’ accused the DPP of offering politicians in Somaliland bribes and promoting Taiwanese independence by funding US think tanks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced China’s Global Times for disseminating disinformation about Taiwan, after the Chinese state-run newspaper claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been bribing Somaliland politicians. Taiwan in August last year inaugurated the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland, which is the nation’s only representative office whose title uses just the name “Taiwan.” The East African country also established a representative office in Taipei, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations. The Chinese-language Global Times on Monday accused the DPP of offering Somaliland politicians and their families considerable bribes, citing anonymous sources. The International Cooperation
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday in his Double Ten National Day message accused the Democratic Progressive Party government of inciting fear and anti-China sentiment, while making an appeal to Beijing to accept Taiwan’s existence. After attending the morning celebrations outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Ko, who is chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), wrote on Facebook a “happy birthday” message to the Republic of China (ROC) in which he reflected on the nation’s values, and condemned partisan politics and Chinese aggression. In the 110 years since Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) founded Asia’s first democratic republic, the ROC on Taiwan
Ambassador Theaters on Tuesday announced that its Breeze Center cinemas in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) would close late this month after screening thousands of major Hollywood movies and local favorites over two decades. Ambassador Theaters, one of the largest cinema chain operators in Taiwan, said that Oct. 25 would be the last day the Breeze Center cinemas screen movies, adding that its lease expires on that day. “We sincerely appreciate the support and recognition from audiences in Taipei over the past 20 years,” the company said. “We look forward to seeing you again in the future.” The cinemas started operating in 2001, upon