TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an unprecedented move, Japan’s upper house of parliament on Friday (June 11) unanimously approved a motion calling for Taiwan’s attendance at the World Health Assembly (WHA) beginning next year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, international support for the country’s participation in the annual event as an observer has gained ground, with more countries and senior politicians voicing approval. Even so, when the WHA opened last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) again failed to send an invitation to Taiwan.
The 245-member House of Councilors passed a motion calling on the government to persuade each country to support Taiwan’s right to attend the WHA from next year, CNA reported.
During the fight against a pandemic, areas that had some level of success combating the virus should be allowed to share their views and experiences, the motion said. The fact that Taiwan was unable to do so at the WHA amounted to a “global loss,” the document concluded.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed welcome and gratitude for the unprecedented Japanese move. The cross-party nature of the motion symbolized the complete level of support for Taiwan’s cause by the entire Japanese political world, MOFA said. The ministry emphasized that Taiwan would continue to cooperate with countries sharing the same values of human rights, freedom and democracy.
The country will keep pushing the message that “Taiwan can help, and the whole world should allow Taiwan to help,” MOFA said.
The upper house motion followed an outburst of Chinese anger at Premier Suga Yoshihide calling Taiwan a country during a parliamentary discussion of the pandemic.