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Democracies need unity on Taiwan, Japanese ambassador warns

On solely his second go to to Melbourne since taking on the put up in Canberra a 12 months in the past, Yamagami emphasised Taiwan’s significance to the “peace and stability” throughout the East China Sea, the Pacific, and – via its place in international provide chains – the world.

Taiwan, which had seen its diplomatic standing steadily decline because the Nineteen Seventies, has re-emerged as a flashpoint in China-US tensions prior to now 12 months.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping final month stated the “historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled” – a remark seen as threatening navy motion over Taiwan.

China steadily sails navy ships via the Taiwan Strait in a present of drive. US ships additionally routinely transit the waterway in what’s thought-about a present of assist for Taipei.

The safety state of affairs has worsened not only for Taiwan however Japan, the place a small flotilla of Chinese and Russian ships just lately handed between the nation’s predominant islands.

Chinese ships used to seem thrice a month for a few hours in territorial waters of the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands within the East China Sea. In current months, China has despatched bigger ships which keep for as much as 60 hours at a time.

In this local weather, nations like Australia and Japan “need to speak with one voice – and the important message is that we should increase deterrence”, Yamagami stated.

“No one wants to be bullied. No one wants to be dictated to.”

Supporters react after confirmation that Tsai Ing-Wen of the Democratic Progressive Party was re-elected as President of Taiwan in 2020.

Supporters react after affirmation that Tsai Ing-Wen of the Democratic Progressive Party was re-elected as President of Taiwan in 2020.Credit:Getty

Watching occasions within the Taiwan Strait, “we can feel the eagerness on the part of Taiwan to maintain their democracy,” he stated, which he calls a “very sound and natural development”.

“Anyone is happy to be governed by the government they elected themselves. Isn’t that the promise of human beings backed up by history?”

Despite the truth that democracy is being “tested” globally, it has truly flourished in Asia in current a long time in locations like Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia, he stated.

At the identical time, arrogantly preaching the worth of democracy to mates within the Indo-Pacific area just isn’t “wise”, he stated.

The Japanese ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami discusses magpies on Japanese TV.

The Japanese ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami discusses magpies on Japanese TV.

Yamagami has been referred to as a human “Department Store” by Australian colleagues due to the variety of his skilled background (overseas coverage, economics, commerce, he even labored for a police company).

Both his host nation and his residence nation are well-known for being “understated”, he stated, which can have led to Australian and Japanese folks taking one another without any consideration lately.

For that motive, Yamagami stated he hoped to boost the profile of the connection in each international locations, going as far as to pen a daily letter to the general public from his workplace.

His September missive about Australia’s magpies for his embassy weblog was picked up by a Japanese TV channel, with the ensuing YouTube video garnering greater than 400,000 views.

When one of many birds landed on his head just lately, he was informed that meant they have been treating him like an area.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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