Japan on Wednesday called for solving “Taiwan issues” peacefully, expressing concern over Chinese military activity around the self-ruled island.
“Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are important not only for the security of Japan but also the world,” said Hirokazu Matsuno, the Japanese government’s top spokesperson.
“We hope issues concerning Taiwan will be resolved peacefully through dialogue,” Matsuno told a news conference, according to Kyodo News.
The Japanese statement came after the Chinese military launched massive exercises near Taiwan, which Beijing considers as its “breakaway province.”
Beijing’s move came in response to a trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the first visit by a sitting US House speaker to the island nation in 25 years.
The Chinese military has also announced exercises, including live-fire drills, in six locations around Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday.
Matsuno said Tokyo conveyed its “concern” to China over the planned military drills near Taiwan.
“The affected area overlaps with Japan’s exclusive economic zone,” he added.
He also said Tokyo was “not in a position to comment” whether Japan supports Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan with which it has maintained close economic ties.
Pelosi is on a four-nation tour to Asia including Japan. Her trip to Taiwan was not mentioned in the official agenda her office released before she flew to Singapore early this week.
She visited Malaysia before flying to Taipei and is also scheduled to visit South Korea.