Tokyo (AP) — Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Sunday that Taiwan’s peace and stability are key to the region, and Japan will work with the United States to ease tensions between China and Taiwan.
Prime Minister Suga will meet with President Joe Biden in Washington next week. This is the first US summit meeting since taking office in January. Tokyo considers the US alliance to be the cornerstone of its foreign and security policy and is enthusiastic about building close ties with the new US administration.
Taiwan is expected to be on the agenda as leaders are looking for ways to address China’s growing security threats in the region. China’s military aircraft are increasingly invading Taiwan’s territory, and China has protested an agreement to strengthen cooperation between the US and Taiwan’s Coast Guard after Washington sold new weapons equipment to Taipei.
“It is important for Japan and the United States to work together and use deterrence to create an environment where Taiwan and China can find peaceful solutions,” Suga said in a TV talk show on Sunday.
China claims that Taiwan is its territory and will be forced under Beijing’s control if necessary, and has endeavored to isolate Taiwan internationally.
Japan sees China’s expansion as a security threat and opposes Beijing’s claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea (called Diaoyu Islands in China) and increased activity in conflict areas. China also claimed ownership of virtually the entire South China Sea and built military installations on coral reefs and atolls by covering them with sand and concrete.
China denied it was an expansionist and said it was only defending its territorial rights.
Mr. Suga also hopes to advance the vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”, promote regional rule-based order, and discuss ways to cooperate with policies towards North Korea. Continuing the fight against pandemics and climate change is also an important issue.
With the goal of achieving a carbon-neutral society by 2050, Mr. Suga urged U.S. leaders to work closely with Biden to host the Virtual Climate Change Summit just a week after the meeting. He said he would like to jointly lead an international effort to address the issue. ..
“When we meet (Bidden), we want to exchange ideas well so that we can lead the (global) efforts together,” Suga said.