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Monday, October 04, 2004

The China Post > Taiwan wants security dialogue with Japan

(Updated 12:18 A.M.)
The China Post staff

Premier Yu Shyi-kun called on Japan yesterday to start security dialogue with Taiwan as a counterweight against China, an emerging regional power.
Speaking at a Taiwan-Japan Forum meeting, the premier said Japan, the most important democracy in Asia, has to set up channels for the security dialogue with Taiwan to promote their mutually shared democratic values.
The third annual session of the conference, sponsored by the China Eurasia Foundation and Japan's Peace Research Institute, was opened in Taipei in the morning.
Japan, like all other major nations of the world, has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan. But the two countries have non-official contacts and substantial trade ties.
Yu said the United States should also take part in the security dialogue.
Though without diplomatic ties, the United States is committed to help Taiwan defend against invasion from China, which vows to take the island back to its fold by force if necessary.
"The three countries," the premier said, "must set up channels for a dialogue to strengthen cooperation against terrorism and regional security."
He did not elaborate but stressed Taiwan's geographical value to Japan and the United Sates.
In particular, Yu said, the Taiwan Strait is Japan's lifeline. Maritime transportation between Japan and the area west of it must pass through the 100-mile strip of water separating Taiwan and China.
China has deployed some 700 cruise missiles along its Fujian coast, all targeting Taiwan.
"Taiwan, the United States and Japan are nations that value democracy, freedom, and human rights," said the premier, who had threatened to attack Shanghai, if China launched those missiles against Taipei.
On September 25, Yu broached his "balance of terror" strategy to retaliate after the first Chinese attack in an attempt to rally support for Taiwan's NT$610.8 billion weapons purchase from the United States.
The premier was joined by Chiu I Jen, secretary-general of the National Security Council, in the call for the security dialogue.
Chiu told scholars from Taiwan and Japan at the meeting the non-official channels of dialogue between Taipei and Tokyo set up in 1972 have to be updated.
Tokyo cut off diplomatic ties with Taipei on September 29, 1972.
The security dialogue is necessary, Chiu emphasized.
Unless those old channels were upgraded, Chiu said, the two countries could not cope with the new security problems in Asia.
Apparently forgetting Taiwan is no longer a member of the United Nations, Chiu seems to have promised Taipei's endorsement of Japan's application for a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council.
Taipei was ousted from the United Nations on September 25, 1971.
"As regards the U.N. reform," Chiu said, "we support Japan playing a vital role."
Japan's application for Security Council permanent membership is called part of the U.N. reform. Japan, along with Germany, Brazil and India, hopes to be admitted to the Security Council, the most powerful organization of the world body.
Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese prime minister, pitched Tokyo's bid at the U.N. General Assembly on September 21.
China, a permanent member of the Security Council, is strongly opposed to Japan's bid.
Beijing pledges not to seat Japan, which has not yet faced up to the atrocities it committed in China and Southeast Asia before and during the Second World War.
Chiou urged the world to set aside the historical past. Japan, as the largest democratic power in Asia, deserves a permanent seat in the Security Council, he said.

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