TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japanese senior media journalist Akira Ikegami (池上彰) said Saturday (Jan. 4) that the Jan. 11 Taiwanese presidential election bears significant importance in deciding how the Japanese government will adjust its national defensive strategy.
During a New Year TV special, Ikegami, who previously worked for the NHK for 33 years, pointed out that the two main Taiwanese presidential candidates, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), advocate very different approaches to cross-strait issues. With the TV projection showing Tsai as "continually detached from China" and Han as "closely associated with China," Ikegami said whether or not Tsai is re-elected determines the future of Japan.
The 69-year-old journalist stressed that the Hong Kong protests that started last June will greatly impact the decision of the Taiwanese voters. He added that many Taiwanese citizens will cast their ballots in favor of Tsai to prevent Taiwan from becoming the next Hong Kong, reported CNA.
Ikegami said he believed that Japan's Self-Defense Force will be on alert if Han wins the hearts of the Taiwanese people. He said that Tsai seeks to establish boundaries with the Chinese government while Han claims that Taiwan has no future unless it collaborates with China and its economic system.