Japanese NGO calls on govt to stop hyping Taiwan question
Published: Sep 28, 2022 01:02 AM
People take part in a protest in Okinawa, Japan, May 15, 2022, the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan from the control of the United States. Photo:Xinhua

People take part in a protest in Okinawa, Japan, May 15, 2022, the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan from the control of the United States. Photo:Xinhua

An emergency meeting calling on the Japanese government to stop hyping the Taiwan question will be held in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday, the day marking the 50th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations. Go Tanaka, the person in charge of the emergency meeting committee, told the Global Times that September 29 should have been a day to celebrate, but the current challenges in China-Japan relations have much to do with Japan's foreign policy of subordination to the US.

China and Japan have a long history of exchanges. It was not easy for the two countries to achieve the normalization of diplomatic relations given that Japan had previously invaded China, Tanaka said.

On September 29, 1972, the Japanese government agreed in the China-Japan Joint Statement that "the Government of Japan fully understands and respects this stand of the Government of the People's Republic of China [Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People's Republic of China], and it firmly maintains its stand under Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation."

The normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations has made a great contribution to peace and stability for the two countries, for Asia and even for the world. However, the US has stepped up its confrontation with China, and the Japanese government has followed the US' lead in foreign policy during recent years, saying that what happens to Taiwan will affect Japan and hyping the so-called "China threat," Tanaka said.

The Japanese government uses this as an excuse to intensify military expansion, not only by increasing military expenditure significantly, but also by attempting to deploy thousands of missiles, all of which violate the China-Japan Joint Statement, according to Tanaka.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region, which raised tensions across the Taiwan Straits, triggered this "emergency meeting," Tanaka said.

"The Taiwan question is ultimately an internal affair for China, and we must urge the Japanese government to stop hyping about what happens to Taiwan affecting Japan," and stop following a diplomatic policy that is subordinate to the US, Tanaka said.

"The relations between Japan and China, Japan and South Korea and other countries are all strained, and Japan has no friends in Asia. Will it be the 51st state of the US?" Tanaka asked.

In Tanaka's opinion, the US military presence in Japan based on the US-Japan security treaty cannot guarantee Japan's security, but could instead make Japan a target in the event of war. For instance, more than 70 percent of US troops in Japan are based in Okinawa. Is Okinawa safer? The answer is no, said Tanaka.

In fact, the Japanese government's efforts to strengthen its defense capabilities have put the southwestern islands such as Okinawa on the frontline, with disastrous effects on the national economy and life, Tanaka noted. Residents from Okinawa will also attend the event, and it's expected to have more than 100 attendants, according to Tanaka.

"The biggest threat to Japan is the Japanese government!" Tanaka said. They have three demands: first, urging the Japanese government to abide by the China-Japan Joint Statement and adhere to the one-China principle; second, opposing the Japanese government's move to expand its military forces and prevent Okinawa from becoming a frontline base; third, ensuring "no more war between China and Japan."

The Japanese government should pay more attention to its relations with Asian countries and seize the opportunity of China's rapid development, and it should not waste national tax revenue to counter the so-called "threat," Tanaka said.

Only by staying true to original aspirations can Japan look forward to the future, and it is urgent to improve China-Japan relations, Tanaka said. The meeting is only the beginning, and they will continue to carry out related activities to urge the Japanese government to make the right foreign policy decisions that are truly focused on the national interest, Tanaka added.