Aso, Tsai Vow to Deepen Japan-Taiwan Ties

The Yomiuri Shimbun
LDP Vice-President Taro Aso, also a former prime minister. speaks during a forum in Taipei on Tuesday.

TAIPEI (Jiji Press) — Former Prime Minister Taro Aso and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday agreed to deepen ties between Japan and Taiwan.

During their hourlong meeting at the presidential office in Taipei, Aso, vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Tsai also shared the recognition that a Taiwan conflict is possible in light of China’s military threat and economic coercion.

They exchanged views on how to protect Japanese nationals in Taiwan in case of a contingency.

Aso told Tsai that Japan and Taiwan should continue to help one another when needed and share joy with one another during good times.

Tsai praised Japan for leading leaders of the Group of Seven major democracies to reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait in a statement issued at their summit in Hiroshima back in May.

Expressing her gratitude for Japan, this year’s G7 chair, she said that Tokyo has repeatedly expressed its support for peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Prior to his meeting with Tsai, Aso held talks with Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te.

Thanking Aso for visiting Taiwan, Lai stressed that Japan has been a trusted national security partner historically.

Voicing his wariness toward China, Aso said that peace in Taiwan is a crucial matter for the people of Japan.

Lai is the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate in Taiwan’s presidential election in January next year.

Aso has already held talks in Japan with two other presidential candidates—Hou Yu-ih of the major opposition Kuomintang party and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party.

Speaking to reporters, Aso said that the outcome of the election will have a “huge impact” on Japan as well.