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Abe again says Taiwan's security is Japan's affair and US should opt for 'strategic clarity'

Former Japanese prime minister recalls his impression of Putin, whom he met 27 times

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe removes a face mask.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe removes a face mask. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — During a television interview aired Sunday (Feb. 27), former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (安倍晉三) reiterated that Taiwan’s security is of particular concern to his country and called for Washington to abandon its so-called “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan’s defense.

Just before he was interviewed, North Korea conducted another test launch of a ballistic missile. When Abe was asked what he thought of the timing — coming after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — he replied: “taking advantage of the situation to create unrest is, of course, predictable.”

Asked whether he thought China would, like Russia, use unilateral force to change the status quo of Taiwan, Abe reasserted what he said last year: “If Taiwan has a problem, then Japan also has a problem.”

Discussing the U.S. policy towards Taiwan’s defense, Abe said, “The U.S. should end strategic ambiguity” and that it is necessary to clearly articulate its intention to defend Taiwan.

Abe, who has met with Putin 27 times, said that in his encounters with the Russian leader, he sensed Putin's lack of trust towards the U.S. Abe said that on many occasions, when the two leaders were left alone, Putin would say that NATO had not kept its promises and that his views on the issue were deeply entrenched.