1222 GMT June 15, 2021
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a regular news conference Friday that “Japan’s position is to maintain working relations with Taiwan at the nongovernment level,” in line with the 1972 Japan-China Communique, when Tokyo switched the diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. “That’s our basic policy and there is no change to that,” according to AP.
Kato’s remark came a day after China protested Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s reference to Taiwan as a country during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.
Suga, while answering a question about pandemic measures, made a passing reference to Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia as “three countries”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday the comment violated Japan’s “solemn promise to not regard Taiwan as a country”.
“We strongly deplore Japan’s erroneous remarks and have lodged solemn complaints with Japan, demanding that Japan immediately make clear clarifications to eliminate the adverse effects caused by relevant remarks, and to ensure that such situations will not happen again,” Wang said.