Shifting Paradigms in US, China and Taiwan Relations
Edited by Peter C.Y. Chow
Chapter 13: Has There Been a Shift in Japanese Policy Toward China?
Alexander K. Young JAPAN TAKING A STAND ON TAIWAN On 19 February 2005 Japan and the United States issued a joint statement that maintaining the peace and security of the Taiwan Strait is a common strategic objective. Nothing extraordinary, except for the fact that it was the ﬁrst time that Japan joined the US in voicing public concern about China’s military build-up in the area and about growing tension between China and Taiwan. LONG ‘JAPAN–CHINA FRIENDSHIP DIPLOMACY’ After establishing diplomatic relations with China in 1972, Japan began pursuing an utmost goodwill ‘Japan–China friendship diplomacy’, emphasizing long historic and cultural ties. Accepting the ‘one-China’ principle and respecting Beijing’s position that ‘Taiwan is part of China’, it summarily terminated diplomatic relations with Taiwan despite half a century of a comparatively benevolent colonial rule and a residue of mutual goodwill. Japan has provided tens of billions of dollars in government economic development aid since 1979, contributing greatly to China’s rapid economic growth. It has patiently endured ungrateful China’s repeated calls on Japan to apologize for past invasions, to remember history, to revise history textbooks and to deny tourist visas to Dr Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan’s former President, and demands on Japanese Prime Ministers to cease visiting the Yasukuni shrine. Tokyo ﬁrst became alarmed about China’s military posture in 1995 and 1996 when China test-ﬁred ballistic missiles into Taiwan’s adjacent seas, but continued what some critics have charged ‘a spineless policy toward Beijing’, expressing its concern only in vague declarations and laws....
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