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Editorial: Call off commemoration of 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China

  • August 9, 2022
  • , Sankei , p. 2
  • JMH Translation
  • ,

China’s military drills held around Taiwan in protest of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan are raising tensions in East Asia. Under such circumstances, Japan and China will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the normalization of their diplomatic ties on Sept. 29. This event absolutely cannot be commemorated in a celebratory mood. Both the private and public sectors in Japan side must immediately call off all relevant events, including the commemorative ceremony. We must not send the wrong message to the Chinese side.


The Chinese military designated six air and sea zones surrounding Taiwan for live-fire drills and fired ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).


This should be viewed as an extremely hostile military action indicating the possibility of an attack on Japan and the United States Forces Japan (USFJ). The relations between Japan and China can no longer be regarded as amicable.


Many events to celebrate the 50th anniversary have already been held in various parts of Japan. On Sept. 29, to commemorate the two nations’ issuance of a statement on the normalization of diplomatic ties 50 years ago, a private sector organization will host a “commemorative ceremony” and other events in Tokyo.


These events will be supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and former Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, former LDP Secretary General Nikai, and other pro-China politicians have been appointed top advisors to the organizing committee for the events. The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) is also expected to cooperate. Japan should decide to cancel such celebratory events.


The foreign ministers of the G7 nations issued a joint statement with regards to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which says: “There is no justification to use a visit as a pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait.”


In response to the statement, Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li of the Chinses Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Tarumi Hideo and lodged a protest. Why is it that the Japanese side was summoned to receive a protest from China, which launched the missiles?


Following the landing of Chinese ballistic missiles in the Japanese EEZ, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Mori Takeo lodged a protest with Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou over the phone rather than summon him. We’re flabbergasted. 


On the part of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, he has not yet convened a National Security Council meeting in response to China’s military drills. He lacks the sense of crisis that a cross-strait contingency is directly linked to a Japan contingency.


Kishida, as the leader of Japan, must take a firm stance against China.


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