TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo and House of Councillors member Sato Masahisa both expressed this week that Japan must pay attention to developments in Taiwan.
Kishi said in an interview on Tuesday (Sept. 7) that because Taiwan and Japan share the same values and are close neighbors, Japan cannot “stay outside” developments related to Taiwan. Taiwan’s fate is crucial to Japan’s security, he said.
Sato, who heads the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Foreign Affairs Division, pointed out Wednesday (Sept. 8) that China aims to take over Taiwan, saying the next six years will be key. He warned that Japan’s island prefecture of Okinawa is likely to be invaded for strategic reasons when China attacks Taiwan.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday (Sept. 9) responded that Taiwan is an important hub in East Asia's first island chain and plays a key role in regional stability and prosperity. The agency added that Taipei will work closely with Tokyo and other like-minded friends to defend democratic values and a rules-based international order.
“Taiwan and Japan have close and friendly relations, share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and have close economic and trade ties and personnel exchanges,” MOFA said.