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Abe mentions Taiwan in parliamentary speech

Tuesday’s Mainichi and Sankei took note of Abe’s reference to Taiwan in his policy address at the Diet on Monday, explaining that it was extremely unusual for a Japanese prime minister to mention Taiwan in a major speech since Japan does not have diplomatic relations with it. Abe reportedly noted that a Japanese rural community in Iwate Prefecture plans to host the Taiwanese team for the Tokyo Olympics. The dailies speculated that Abe may have mentioned Taiwan out of deference to pro-Taiwanese LDP politicians who have voiced strong opposition to the premier’s plan to invite Chinese President Xi to Japan as a state guest in the spring.    


In a related story, Mainichi highlighted a foreign policy speech made at the parliament yesterday by Foreign Minister Motegi, in which he said the Abe administration will deepen exchanges and cooperation with China in all areas “while addressing outstanding issues properly.” The cabinet minister also stressed that Japan will “not accept unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea.” The paper conjectured that with this strong wording, the foreign minister probably tried to obtain understanding from pro-Taiwanese LDP officials for President Xi’s planned state visit.   


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