Suga explains reference to Taiwan

NHK -- Apr 21
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has explained that a reference to Taiwan in a joint statement he issued with US President Joe Biden reflects Japan's hope for a peaceful settlement of the cross-Strait issue.

Suga faced questions in the Diet on Tuesday about his visit to the US last week, including a meeting with Biden at the White House. Their post-summit statement was the first by US and Japanese leaders to refer to Taiwan in over 50 years.

A lawmaker from the main governing Liberal Democratic Party asked what Suga discussed with Biden, who considers China "the most serious competitor" to the US.

Suga said they exchanged views on China's impact and agreed to oppose any attempts to forcibly change the status quo in the East China and South China seas.

He said they also reaffirmed the need for frank dialogue with China and agreed to seek stability in international relations.

A lawmaker from the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party noted how the joint statement's call for "the peaceful resolution of the cross-Strait issue" might change the situation.

Suga said that Japan expects that issues surrounding Taiwan will be resolved peacefully by direct dialogue between the concerned parties. He said the statement clarifies Japan's position as one that's shared by the US.

Suga also stressed that the statement will contribute to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

- NHK