Commenting in Japan Forward, Foundation Advisor Dr. Robert Eldridge writes that it is time for Japan to recognize its own ethnic and cultural ties with the people of Taiwan and move towards the enactment of its own Taiwan Relations Act, which it has never done. This perspective, sparked by the recent visit to Okinawa Prefecture between Taiwan’s former President Lee (fluent in Japanese) and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe, looks to recent changes in the United States law and recent visits by senior U.S. officials to Taiwan. Dr. Eldridge notes:
“The people of both countries have also matched words with deeds, as seen after times of national crises and disasters. The Japanese have been deeply touched by the generous support Taiwan showed Japan following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, for example, in terms of both money donated and personnel dispatched, as well as other acts of kindness. In fact, these efforts were seen before and after that tragedy, and have been quite reciprocal.”
A full copy of the article can be found here.
Robert D. Eldridge, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Advisors and its Director for North Asia, is the former political advisor for the United States Marine Corps in Japan and the author of dozens of books on U.S.-Japan relations, including, The Origins of U.S. Policy in the East China Sea Islands Dispute (Routledge, 2014).