Global Times Inquiry to Japanese Embassy

Taiwan’s Liberty Times (自由時報) reported on Tuesday that Japan’s new ambassador to China, Uichiro Niwa, told a press conference in Tokyo that Japan’s and China’s joint communiqué of 1972 contained no direct recognition by Japan of Chinese sovereignty claims on Taiwan – details here ».

Under the headline “Japanese embassy’s response to new Japanese ambassador’s ‘Japan never recognized Taiwan to be Chinese territory’ comments”, a People’s Net (人民網) article, all written in traditional Chinese characters, today gives a short but apparently accurate account of the Liberty Times’ report, and then quotes from the findings of a Global Times online (環球網) reporter. (According to People’s Net, Niwa’s press conference in Tokyo was held on Monday.)

On Tuesday at noon (local time), the Global Times reporter contacted the Japanese embassy in Beijing and learned from a second-rank secretary (二等秘書) of the embassy’s cultural center that at the time, he hadn’t been able to confirm the specific content of what had been said at the press conference. On Tuesday evening, the same secretary told the Global Times reporter that Niwa did say that the Japanese government’s position had been based on the joint communiqué ever since 1972, and that this position had never changed.

People’s Net adds that the joint communiqé included the paragraph that China viewed Taiwan as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China, and that Niwa was reportedly the first non-bureaucrat to be appointed ambassador to China by the Japanese government after World War 2.

The reference to Niwa’s non-bureaucratic background may be simply part of factual coverage, but an access-restricted thread at peopleforum.cn seems to question the new ambassador’s qualifications: New Japan’s envoy to China, is he qualified?

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Related
Japan’s New China Envoy Means Business, WSJ, June 8, 2010

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2 Comments to “Global Times Inquiry to Japanese Embassy”

  1. I am not sure what the point of the People’s Net story was. Anyone who reads the text of the communique will understand Japan’s policy, and if the text is as you portrayed it yesterday, then the secretary and Niwa were on the same page.

  2. I don’t know the story’s point either. At first glance, it looks like if they found something weird along the road and started tossing it around a bit to find out if it moves. And it leaves the impression on me that the propaganda department doesn’t want the press to make a big fuss of it, and at the same time, they can’t act like if the Niwa – and the embassy secretary – hadn’t stated Tokyo’s position. Their approach looks somewhat uneasy to me.

    And of course, it’s not really something new – but Japan’s position hasn’t been frequently mentioned in the recent past, as far as I can remember. Maybe the CCP simply deems a discussion about Japan’s position on Taiwan – and the possible meanings of other countries’ “one-China” policies – case by case – undesirable right now. I’m not sure what would happen if every government that has diplomatic relations with China started thumbing through their joint communiques, agreements, etc., and have another look.

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