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Japan's representative office raises national flag in Taiwan

Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association no longer concerned about angering China

Japanese flag raised at residence of Japanese envoy to Taiwan Izumi Hiroyasu ​​​​​​(Twitter, Furuya Keiji photo)

Japanese flag raised at residence of Japanese envoy to Taiwan Izumi Hiroyasu ​​​​​​(Twitter, Furuya Keiji photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan's representative office in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (JTEA) raised the Japanese flag at its Taipei office on Saturday (April 17) despite past concerns about angering China.

Furuya Keiji, chairman of the Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council, explained in a tweet that Japan's representative office had avoided raising the national flag in the past out of concern for China's response. However, displaying it at the entrance of the office should be a "matter of course," he said.

Though he could not say whether people visiting the office would notice the change, Furuya stressed that democracies must join forces against Beijing, which he said has "deviated from normality."

Despite his reference to the JTEA, the photo shared by Furuya appears to show the residence of Japanese envoy to Taiwan Izumi Hiroyasu instead of the representative office.

According to CNA, Izumi's residence in the Yangminshan area began raising the Japanese flag in January. Following the tragic train accident near the Daqingshui Tunnel in Hualien County on April 2, it lowered its flag to half-staff for three days to honor the victims.

Furuya's post on Saturday came after U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide issued a joint statement on Friday stressing the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. It was the first statement issued by leaders of the two countries to touch on Taiwan since 1969.

Tokyo normalized ties with Beijing in 1982 after breaking off relations with Taiwan. In December of that year, the JTEA was established to maintain practical links and facilitate exchanges between Japan and Taiwan.