Japan FM's remarks on Taiwan condemned
Updated: 2006-03-10 05:57
The Foreign Ministry lodged a protest against remarks made by Japanese
Foreign Minister Taro Aso yesterday, which called Taiwan a law-abiding
This was the latest of Aso's recent remarks on Taiwan that challenges
Beijing's one-China principle.
"We are shocked at the remarks that were delivered by Japan's top diplomat,"
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin said.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso speaks to
reporters at a press conference in Tokyo Wednesday, March 8, 2006.
According to Japan's Jiji Press news agency, Aso told a parliamentary
committee yesterday that Taiwan is "a law-governed country, as its democracy is
fairly mature and liberalism has taken root in its economy."
The spokesman also urged Japan not to use the row with China on gas
exploration in the East China Sea to divert attention from top Japanese leaders'
repeated visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.
"It will not benefit bilateral relations and will not
contribute to solving the problem," Qin told a regular news briefing.
Aso's comment conflicted with Tokyo's long-standing one-China policy,
meaning Japan ¡ª like the United States and many other nations ¡ª does not
recognize Taiwan as an independent country.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry denied Aso was breaking new ground.
"There is no change in Japan's position on the
Japan-China agreement of 1972 that stated there is one China," said Keiji Kamei,
an official with the Foreign Ministry's China division.