TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the World Health Organization's (WHO) disappointing decision to bar Taiwan from participating in the World Health Assembly (WHA) for the fourth year in a row, Japanese representative to Taiwan Hiroyasu Izumi (泉裕泰) said Tuesday (May 19) that the Japanese government will continue to push for the island nation's inclusion.
As Taiwan was once again denied access to the WHA at a meeting that opened Monday (May 18), international leaders have voiced their discontent with the WHO's politically-driven decision. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also warned in a statement that the WHO's exclusion of Taiwan due to Chinese pressure has "further damaged" the organization's credibility.
In a post published on the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (JPEA) Facebook Tuesday, Hiroyasu pointed out that Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato had advocated for Taiwan's recognition during the WHA meeting as well as urged participating nations to study its pandemic prevention measures. He said there was no reason for the WHO to deny Taiwan's membership and that Japan will not hold back its support for its East Asian neighbor.
At the end of the post, Hiroyasu added the hashtags "Leave No One Behind," "Taiwan Can Help," and "Taiwan Is Helping."
During a press interview, Taiwan Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) also expressed his deep regrets about the WHO's refusal to acknowledge the island nation. However, he stressed that the government's efforts have been noticed by countries worldwide, including many who have realized Taiwan's importance to global health and infectious disease prevention, reported Liberty Times.