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Japanese prefecture urges Tokyo to back Taiwan’s WHA bid

Lawmakers in Hokkaido pass resolutions supporting Taiwan

Taiwan has been unable to participate in WHA meetings since 2017. (WHO photo)

Taiwan has been unable to participate in WHA meetings since 2017. (WHO photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lawmakers in the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido have passed resolutions that call on Tokyo to enhance its support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA).

Earlier this month, members of the Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly and the Sapporo City Assembly passed resolutions to push for the recognition of Taiwan's effective response against coronavirus at the global health meeting. They urged Japan to seek cooperation with other nations to fulfill this goal.

According to Hokkaido Shimbun, the resolutions stated that Taiwan has been a global model for pandemic management but that detailed information on its infection cases and epidemic prevention measures was largely overlooked by many countries. They stressed that the East Asian nation, which has only recorded 766 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, should be able to attend the WHA as an observer.

An anonymous source familiar with the matter said the resolutions will be sent to the Japanese government by Hokkaido lawmakers and pro-Taiwan organizations in Japan. Meanwhile, Kenichi Okada, secretary-general of the Taipei Office of the Japan–Taiwan Exchange Association, emphasized that there is no reason for Taiwan to be barred from the WHA and sharing health-related information.

Since 2017, Taiwan has been unable to participate in the WHA due to objections from China. Although it has received heightened support from the U.S., Europe, and Japan, its request to join the WHA and the right to health of 23.5 million Taiwanese remain ignored.