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Japanese delegation arrives in Taiwan ahead of Lai Ching-te’s presidential inauguration

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Japanese delegation arrives in Taiwan ahead of Lai Ching-te’s presidential inauguration

A Japanese delegation arrives in Taiwan today.

The cross-party delegation, consisting of more than 30 pro-Taiwan Japanese lawmakers, arrived today to attend the inauguration of Taiwan’s president elect Lai Ching-te, scheduled for May 20. This visit largely aims to strengthen Tokyo’s bilateral cooperation and ties with Taipei.

Mr. Lai highlighted the importance in Japan-Taiwan bilateral ties, stating that both sides “are on the same boat” where they share “the destiny of life and death”, the latter most likely referring to both government’s contentious relations with China. While Japan does not officially recognize Taiwan, Tokyo has nonetheless been vocal in its criticisms towards Beijing and its perceived maritime aggression within the Taiwan Strait. Beijing on its part, has been openly critical of the growing ties in Japan-Taiwan relations where in January this year, it condemned Japan’s congratulatory messaging to Lai Ching-te upon his election victory.

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Overall, given the incoming Lai administration’s desire to preserve the existing rules based international order, expect more diplomatic exchanges between Japan and Taiwan in the future. Given Beijing’s consternation towards the growing ties between the two states, expect a strongly worded statement issued by Beijing in the next few days aswell as a gradual deterioration in cross strait relations.

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