Summary of Dialogues
the 4th Japan-Taiwan Dialogue Convened
The Global Forum of Japan (GFJ) and the Taiwan International Studies Association (TISA) (concurrently headed by Representative KOH Se-Kai of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) co-sponsored the 4th "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue: Review and Perspective of the Japan-Taiwan Relationship" in Tokyo on 19th-20th February. The Dialogue started with Welcome Dinner hosted by Amb. OKAWARA Yoshio, Chairman of GFJ, on 19th February and had two Open Sessions and one Closed Session on 20th February. Open Sessions I and II were attended by about 100 participants from various circles in Japan, and were followed by a Closed Wrap-up Session. Details of the discussions in Open Sessions I and II can be seen below:
"Review and Perspective of the Japan-Taiwan Relationship"
In Session I, which started at 10:00 a.m. on the theme of "Taiwan in the Changing Asian Scene", Dr LAI I-Chung, Director of Foreign Policy Studies of Taiwan Thinktank, presented his keynote speech, stating that "although U.S is trying to persuade China, whose economic, political and military positions are rapidly rising, to become a responsible stakeholder, this very act of U.S. means that the U.S influence in the region is decreasing. On the other hand, Taiwan's process of democratization is a big change. Neither Taiwanese nor foreign governments can anymore control Taiwan's foreign policy without the consent of its citizens." After that, Prof. TAKAGI Seichiro of Aoyama Gakuin University made another keynote speech, stating that "since the end of the Cold war, the U.S.-China relationship has become one of growing complexity involving both elements of collaboration and confrontation. U.S., while pursuing collaboration with China in foreign policy, keeps alerted in strategic conducts. China also acts in the same manner."
In response to the keynote speeches, commentators presented their views as follows: Dr. LI Ming-Juinn, Board Editor of Taiwan International Law Quarterly said, "The argument that the Taiwan issue is a domestic issue of China has become obsolete; rather it is becoming more and more an international issue." Prof. SHIMADA Haruo of Keio University said, "Compared with the days of the LEE Teng-hui regime, the mutual understanding between Japan and Taiwan is on the decline. Therefore, the importance of strengthened exchanges between Taiwan and Japan must be reiterated." Prof. CHEN Wen-Hsien of National Chengchi University commented, "It should be noted that the purpose of China to approach U.S. is to put pressure on Japan." Mr. EBATA Kensuke, Visiting Professor of Takushoku University stated, "The extent of China's military build-up is beyond the need of that for liberating Taiwan." Prof. CHEN Mu-Min of National Changhua University of Education stated, "When China communicates with Taiwan, China does so excluding the Taiwanese government. It is important to see the background of such an intention on Chinese side. "
In Session II on the theme of "Review and Perspective of the Japan-Taiwan Relationship", Prof. ASANO Kazuo of Heisei International University presented his key note speech, stating that "although both China and Taiwan assumed the concept of ‘One China' in 1972, under today's CHEN Shui-bian- SU Tseng-chang regime Taiwan no more uphold the future perspective of its unification with China. If we take the fact into consideration that the stability of the Japan-U.S.-Taiwan trilateral relationship is a basis for peace and prosperity of Japan as well as East Asia, Japan should consider the enactment of a Japan version of ‘The Taiwan Relations Act' of U.S." Prof. JI Shun-Jie of Tamkang University stated, "'It is right to say that 'The Taiwan Relations Act' has sustained peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and that the democratic, liberal and peaceful Taiwan Strait is a common interest of the world. Japan and U.S. should not connive with the change in the Taiwan Strait forced by the use of force by China."
In response to the keynote speeches, commentators put forward their views as follows: Mr. TANINO Sakutaro, former Ambassador of Japan to China, said, "It should be the will of the Taiwanese people that determines the future of Taiwan, and discussions on the regional integration in East Asia should take into consideration a bigger role of Taiwan. However, we need to remember that the Japan-Taiwan relationship exists within the framework of the constructive relationship between Japan, U.S. and China." Prof LEE Shane of Chang Jung University said, "One needs to consider how disadvantageous it will be for both Japan and U.S. if Taiwan falls under the control of China." Dr. YANG Yung-Nane, Visiting Professor of Kyoto University, commented,"It is our hope to see exchanges between Japanese and Taiwanese government officials."
Starting from 2:00 p.m. on the same day, the Closed Wrap-up Session was held with a limited number of participants from both sides. They exchanged opinions on the basis of the recognition of the current Japan-Taiwan relations as well as the future perspective of the partnership. The discussions were conducted off the record. The verbatim record of the Sessions I and II will be soon published and placed on our website at http://www.gfj.jp