Taiwan leader pins hopes on Japan’s security cooperation

Taiwan Presidential Office via AP
In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, right, poses for photos with Keiji Furuya, an ultra-conservative who heads a Japan-Taiwan parliamentarians group in Taipei on Tuesday.

TAIPEI (Jiji Press) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen expressed on Tuesday hopes for Japan’s security cooperation, at a time when China is ramping up military coercion against Taiwan.

Japan is a close security partner of Taiwan, Tsai said at a meeting with Keiji Furuya, head of a suprapartisan group of Japanese lawmakers for stronger Tokyo-Taipei relations, at the presidential office in Taipei.

Furuya’s travel to Taiwan is expected to come in for strong criticism from China, which has been frustrated by a series of recent visits to Taiwan by foreign dignitaries, as such moves go against Beijing’s “One China” principle.

Noting that the Chinese military has been frequently conducting drills near the Taiwan Strait, Tsai said that if Taiwan is invaded, that would deal a heavy blow to democracy and the entire Indo-Pacific region. Japan and Taiwan, which share values, need to keep deepening their cooperation to secure the peace and stability of the region, she added.

Furuya, former chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, denounced China for its military intimidation against the self-ruled island, saying that such an act is “absolutely unacceptable.”

“It’s more important than anything else to thoroughly deterring China’s attempts to change the status quo” through close cooperation between Taiwan and international society, including Japan and United States, Furuya said.

The suprapartisan group been continuing exchanges with Taiwan to promote relations between Japan and Taiwan, which do not have official diplomatic ties.

The Tsai-Furuya meeting was also joined by Minoru Kihara, secretary-general of the Japanese group.

Furuya and Kihara, both lawmakers of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japanese parliament, and members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, are visiting Taiwan for three days through Wednesday.