Japan's support for Taiwan 'hypocritical' move that echoes US: analysts

By Xing Xiaojing Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/5/20 1:14:43

Photo: VCG

Japan's Foreign Ministry touched on the island of Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Organization (WHO) and continued to be in favor of the island's participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), which was the first time it has mentioned this since the island's attempt to join the WHA was rejected in 2017, and some Chinese analysts said the Japanese side adopting this stance simply echoes US sentiment.

According to local media reports, the 2020 Diplomatic Bluebook emphasized that Taiwan is a critically important partner to Japan while the relationship between Japanese and Taiwan residents is generally good, and the two sides see close people-to-people exchange. It has changed the description of the island from 'important partner' in the 2019 edition to 'critically important' and increased content related to the island from half a page last year to one page.

"By the Trump administration trying to pass the buck to the Chinese mainland to divert attention away from conflicts in the country and smear China's reputation in a choreographed manner, the Japanese side has been influenced by the international environment," Zhou Yongsheng, professor of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

An expert on the question of Taiwan, who preferred not to be named, said "relations" between the island of Taiwan and Japan are actually "special and close." No matter if it's about clearly supporting the island as an observer to WHA or seeing Taiwan ties as critically important, those moves could be seen as important signals in enhancing its ties with the island.

"However, under the former regional leadership of Ma Ying-jeou, the island could have joined WHA because both sides of cross-Straits had basic political trust. Japan is not aware of that perspective, which is regretful," the expert said.

The 2020 edition also reiterated that this year would be a period for propelling Japan-China ties into a new era of bilateral relations, addressing the intention of re-coordinating arrangements for China's leader to visit Japan as a state guest.

"Expressions of willingness for Chinese leader's visit to Japan send out a positive signal. As long as Japan upholds the one-China principle, its expressions on the island of Taiwan won't pose a significant impact on China-Japan ties," Zhang Wensheng, deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Although Japan expressed its support for Taiwan as an observer to WHA, whether it can join is not up to Japan, while we cannot exclude the possibility that such a move is "hypocritical" after considering the US mood, Zhang said.

However, it should still draw attention to Japan trying to enhance interaction with the island, and normalize support for the island on a global stage or even have concrete relations with it, Zhang said, noting that China and Japan are now seeing their relations improving with enhancing political trust, and Japan should focus on safeguarding bilateral ties and be cautious on the Taiwan question.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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