Japan has consistently supported Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the World Health Organization’s assembly, the 2020 Diplomatic Blue Book states.
This is the first time the blue book has included support for Taiwan to have observer status at the World Health Assembly since 2017, when Taiwan was excluded from attending the meeting due to China’s opposition.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi issued a report on the blue book in the Cabinet on Tuesday.
Regarding the novel coronavirus, the blue book touched on the virus having broken out in China, adding that the pandemic is having a major global impact on various aspects, such as the economic, social and diplomatic.
In terms of Japan-Russia relations, the blue book said that the northern territories are islands over which Japan has sovereignty, stating that the two countries will work to negotiate a basic policy for concluding a peace treaty after resolving the attribution issue of the four northern islands. Last year’s blue book did not mention that the four islands “belong to Japan,” leading to criticism mainly from Liberal Democratic Party members.
On South Korea, the phrase “important neighbor” was revived for the first time in three years. Japan and South Korea held a summit in December last year, and the deterioration of bilateral relations was halted to some extent.