| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

China summons Japan envoy over former PM Abe’s comments on Taiwan

On Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry summoned Japan’s ambassador in Beijing for a “emergency meeting,” after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed neither his country nor the US would stand by if China invaded Taiwan.

According to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying labeled Abe’s statements in the meeting with ambassador Hideo Tarumi “erroneous” and a violation of core rules of China-Japan ties.

According to Hua, Abe’s remarks “openly questioned China’s sovereignty and provided unabashed support to Taiwan independence forces.”

“China is resolutely opposed to this,” it said, adding Hua had made “stern representations” to Japan.

Asked about the summons at a regular press briefing in Tokyo on Thursday, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Japan disagreed with China’s action as the Japanese government was not in a position to comment on remarks made by people not in the government.

“Ambassador Tarumi said … it is necessary for China to understand there are people in Japan who have such opinions and Japan cannot accept China’s one-sided views on such matters,” Matsuno said.

On Wednesday, speaking at a virtual forum organised by a Taiwanese think tank, Abe said an armed invasion of Taiwan would pose a grave danger to Japan.

Abe, who stepped down as prime minister last year, is head of the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and remains influential within the party.

  • Reuters