Japan and U.S. want to talk security with Taiwan, but concerns about leaks: Taiwan envoy

Taiwanese generals might leak details during visits to China: Hsieh

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Taiwan envoy to Japan Frank Hsieh.

Taiwan envoy to Japan Frank Hsieh. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Japan and the United States are willing to engage in a security dialogue with Taiwan, but they are concerned that the content of the talks might be leaked to China, Taiwan’s envoy to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said Tuesday.

During an interview with Japan’s Sankei Shimbun last week, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) proposed the Japanese government should hold security talks with her administration. However, unconfirmed media reports later said Tokyo was not considering any such discussions.

Speaking at a food fair in Japan Tuesday, Hsieh said that according to his understanding, both Tokyo and Washington would like to discuss security issues with the government of Taiwan, but they were worried that Taiwanese generals visiting China would leak the contents of the talks, the Central News Agency reported.

A security dialogue would benefit both Taiwan and Japan, and was necessary, but Japan was worried about its confidentiality, though it was not prepared to say so explicitly, the former premier said.

Hsieh also questioned the source of the media report about Tokyo not wanting to talk with Taiwan, adding that the Japanese foreign ministry was so large that it was hard to believe any media source would have the authority to represent the whole ministry’s opinion.

An editorial in the Sankei Shimbun encouraged the Japanese government to give a positive response to Tsai’s proposal, since both countries shared the same core values of democracy and freedom, CNA reported.