Japanese FM vaguely responds to question about Japan's position on the island of Taiwan
Published: Jul 09, 2021 01:54 AM
Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso Photo: CFP

Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso Photo: CFP

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a reply to the Global Times on Thursday that they have no comments on the Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso's wrong remarks on the island of Taiwan, but said it is "expected the parties concerned to peacefully resolve [the issue] through direct dialogue, which is the government's position from the past to the present." 

The Foreign Ministry's reply came after the Global Times asked about "the Japanese position on the Taiwan question" .  

It said it had already noticed the relevant reports about Taro Aso, who recently claimed that Japan would defend the island of Taiwan, together with the US, if a war erupts across the Taiwan Straits, adding that it "will continue to monitor the development of the situation."

Chinese experts said China's solemn protest will have an impact on Japan's words and actions related to Taiwan. They also consider that the American statement that they do not support a separation of the island of Taiwan will also make Japan restrain itself on the Taiwan question in the near future.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, slammed Aso's remarks on Tuesday calling them "extremely wrong and dangerous," and said they gravely undermine the political foundation of China-Japan relations.

The Chinese Embassy in Japan on Tuesday also condemned Aso's remarks, saying the Taiwan question is purely China's internal affairs and allows no external interference.

US government officials also responded to the issue on Tuesday. Pentagon Press Secretary, John Kirby, said "nothing has changed" about US' policy with respect to Taiwan. The White House Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, said they "do not support" the Taiwan separation. 

"Japan's foreign ministry's refusal to comment on Aso's erroneous remarks indicates that Japan is still observing the reactions from all sides," Wang Jian, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

He said China's solemn protest and warning and the US' latest declaration on their position on Taiwan may restrain Japan on this matter in the near term. 

Besides the Japanese foreign ministry, Katsunobu Kato, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, also avoided giving any comments on Aso's remarks, saying he "did not know the details." 

"It can be seen from the different reactions of the Japanese side that there is a high probability of reaching some kind of 'consensus' on Taiwan-related issues and making different statements on different occasions to test the reactions of all parties," said Wang. 

Japanese political news commentator, Jiro Honzawa, told the Global Times on Thursday Aso's claim that "Japan and the US will defend Taiwan" was "jaw-dropping."

Taiwan's economic development is closely linked to the mainland, and the island will have no benefit in seeking separation, he said, adding that DPP's separatist attempts do not have a solid political foundation.