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Saturday, February 19, 2005

US News : Japan, US to declare Taiwan a mutual security concern: report, ( Breaking News,Kerala news, India News,Us,UK,Kerala Shopping,Onam Special, K

US News : Japan, US to declare Taiwan a mutual security concern: report,US: Japan, US to declare Taiwan a mutual security concern: report
25 Hours,46 minutes Ago

[US News]: WASHINGTON - Japan will formally join the United States this weekend in declaring the Taiwan Strait a common security concern in a move likely to anger China, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The Post said a formal agreement would be announced after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld meet with their Japanese counterparts here on Saturday.

“This is the first time that Japan has made its stance clear,” Koh Se-kai, Taiwan’s special representative to Japan, told the Post, which called the move the biggest change in the US-Japanese security alliance since 1996.

“In the past, Japan has been very indirect on the Taiwan issue,” Koh was quoted as saying. “We’re relieved that Japan has become more assertive.”

The State Department would not confirm the reported moved by Japan.

Japan ended its diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1972 to establish relations with rival China.

A US official, who asked not to be named, confirmed however that the US and Japanese ministers would confer on a “broad range of security topics in Asia, including the situation in the Taiwan Strait.”

Japanese Defense Agency chief Yoshinori Ono, who was to leave Japan later Friday with Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, said the two countries would “fully discuss destabilizing factors.”

Asked about China, Ono said: “Japan must have good relations. I would like to pursue common grounds” with the United States on China.

The Post, in a dispatch dated from Tokyo, said Japan would join the administration of President George W. Bush in designating security in the Taiwan Strait as a “common strategic objective.”

The move is likely to displease China, which has a considerable military force amassed on the Taiwan Strait opposite the island that split off in 1949. Beijing has threatened to use force if Taiwan formally declared independence.

Washington has recognized Taiwan as part of China since in 1979, but is obliged under US law to offer the island a means of self-defense if its security is threatened.

China is sensitive to any movements in the United States. A bipartisan resolution introduced Wednesday in the US House of Representatives calling for an end to the “one China” policy drew a sharp reaction from Beijing.

Shinzo Abe, the acting secretary general of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party who is widely seen as a likely successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, supported the reported US-Japan agreement.

“It would be wrong for us to send a signal to China that the United States and Japan will watch and tolerate China’s military invasion of Taiwan,” Abe told the Post.

“If the situation surrounding Japan threatens our security, Japan can provide US forces with support,” he added.

An unidentified senior Japanese government official told the daily: “We consider China a friendly country, but it is also unpredictable. If it takes aggressive action, Japan cannot just stand by and watch.”

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