Taiwan emphasizes close relations with Japan despite severed diplomatic ties

Taiwan flags flutter outside the presidential palace in Taipei, Taiwan August 8, 2022.

TAIPEI — A Taiwan foreign ministry spokesperson stressed Thursday that Japan and Taiwan have close relations even without diplomatic ties. The day marked the 50th anniversary that Japan and the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, severed diplomatic ties due to the normalization of Japan’s diplomatic relations with China.

Joanne Ou said in a press conference held Thursday that Taiwan and Japan share fundamental values, feel mutual closeness to one another and have warm exchanges, referring to their stable relations.

Although the two severed diplomatic ties, practical relations have been maintained via “quasi-official” organizations established on both sides.

Japan-Taiwan relations have been constrained in terms of high-level official movement amid China upholding the one-China principle, but the two have become closer economically and private exchanges have flourished in recent years.

In a poll conducted by the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association this year, 60% of those surveyed in Taiwan picked Japan as the foreign country they like the most, while President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan and Japan are currently at their most cordial period in history.

Taiwan is placing greater emphasis on its ties with Japan and the United States in response to growing Chinese military pressure.

Ou expressed Taiwan’s hope for further strengthening relations with Japan, saying that deepening cooperation between Taiwan and Japan will lead to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.