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Associated Press

Japan says ties with Taiwan are only unofficial

Japan’s relations with Taiwan are nongovernmental and practical and are based on Tokyo’s recognition of China as the sole legitimate government, a top Japanese official said Friday, following Beijing’s protest over a recent reference to the island as a country. As China flexes its muscle in the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region, the issue of Taiwan is a sensitive topic, especially as Japan, the United States and other democracies develop closer ties with the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as a renegade territory to be united by force if necessary. Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a regular news conference Friday that “Japan’s position is to maintain working relations with Taiwan at the nongovernment level,” in line with the 1972 Japan-China Communique, when Tokyo switched the diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.

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