U.S.-Japan joint statement incorporates Taiwan Strait language experts say is an “important step” for Japan

Experts say this is an important step for Japan, which has always viewed Taiwan as a sensitive issue, showing that the U.S.-Japan alliance is concerned about China’s aggressive behavior in the region, and for the first Time, the two countries even included words related to the Taiwan Strait situation in their joint statement. As for whether this means the two countries will have specific joint actions when the Taiwan Strait changes, it remains to be seen.

U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken and Defense Secretary Austin held “2+2” talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshichika Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi in Tokyo on Tuesday (March 16), in which they confirmed their alliance and expressed concern about a series of Chinese actions in the region that “violate the international order. The two sides confirmed their alliance and expressed concern over a series of Chinese actions in the region that “violate the international order” and oppress democracy and human rights.

In an exclusive interview with Japanese television station Fuji after the “2+2” talks on Wednesday, Blinken said the United States and Japan are very concerned about China’s behavior in recent years, “because it is becoming more and more oppressive internally and more aggressive externally, including in the Senkaku Islands, the South China Sea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. , that’s a concern for both of our countries, and I think it’s a concern for everybody in this region who values peace and stability.”

Blinken said he will have the opportunity to raise those concerns directly in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Anchorage, Alaska.

“I will be there with my colleague, U.S. National Security Advisor Sullivan. That’s an opportunity for us to be able to share very directly, face-to-face, with our Chinese counterparts the concerns of the United States and the concerns of our allies and partners about some of the things that China is doing.”

He said he guessed it was also an opportunity for China to share their concerns about the U.S. “It’s important that we have an opportunity to be able to speak directly, to speak clearly, to speak publicly, and also to show to our counterparts that there’s no difference between what we say publicly and what we say privately.”

The talks not only directly identified China’s threat to the region, but even included for the first time Taiwan Strait-related language in the joint statement issued by the Japan-U.S. Security Council (the official name of the 2+2 meeting), mentioning that “the ministers emphasized the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait “Experts believe that this is an important step taken by Japan.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, told Voice of America in an email, “This is a very sensitive issue for Japan, so the mere willingness to include the Taiwan issue in the joint statement is already an important step, and Beijing will not fail to pay attention to it. “

As for why Japan, which has been trying to improve relations with China, would take this important step, Ge Laiyi said it is because the two U.S. and Japanese allies are increasingly concerned about China’s increasing pressure on Taiwan.

“The United States and Japan are very concerned about the increasing Chinese pressure on Taiwan. I think the two allies wanted to signal their concern in a joint statement from the Security Assurances Agreement Commission. It remains to be seen whether there will be joint action to follow to demonstrate their willingness to work together in the Taiwan Strait change.”

As for how Japan might react if China moves against Taiwan, Madoka Fukuda, a professor of international politics at Hosei University in Japan, said this is an extremely difficult question in terms of Japan-Taiwan relations.

“I think Japan will cooperate with the U.S. through alliance relations because it is difficult for Japan to act alone in the Taiwan Strait, so to that question I can only answer that it depends on the situation.”

In the report, which was supported by The Japanese Embassy, the new generation of scholars made a number of policy recommendations on how to promote Japan-Taiwan relations, including strengthening mutual economic, cultural and civil society exchanges. civil society exchanges, as well as cooperation in areas such as cybersecurity, supply chain resilience, and multilateral mechanisms such as the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) established by the U.S. and Taiwan in 2015 and to be hosted by Japan in 2019.

In response to recent discussions within Japan about the Taiwan Strait situation, including the establishment of a “Taiwan Working Group” by the Liberal Democratic Party and the initiative for a Japanese version of the Taiwan Relations Act, Fukuda said that Japan’s official security relations between Japan and Taiwan have always been extremely low-key. These discussions are increasing and “evolving,” but she believes that they are not yet mainstream discussions in the LDP or the Diet.

The Chinese government has expressed strong dissatisfaction with and strong opposition to the many accusations made by Japan and the United States at the “2+2” meeting that China’s behavior is inconsistent with the international order, and outside spokesman Zhao Lijian even criticized the U.S. and Japan for their concerns about China’s many actions in the joint statement, saying that the two countries are “working together. In a regular press conference on Wednesday, Zhao said that he was concerned about China’s actions.

At a regular press conference on Wednesday, Zhao said that Taiwan, Hong Kong and border issues are China’s internal affairs and cannot be interfered with by any foreign country. “The U.S.-Japanese joint statement ignores the historical warp and woof of the issues concerned and disregards the facts and truth, but is just another clear evidence of the U.S.-Japanese wolfishness and interference in China’s internal affairs and a bad example of smearing and discrediting China.”

He also criticized Japan’s “willingness to look up to others and act as a strategic vassal of the United States” in order to deter China’s rise and revival, which is “leading wolves into the house” and damaging Sino-Japanese relations.