Japan Defence Minister hopes China-Taiwan tension can be resolved through talks

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan hopes tension between China and Taiwan will be resolved peacefully through dialogue, Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said on Tuesday (Oct 5), adding that his ministry will keep an eye on the widening military imbalance between Beijing and Taipei.

The comment came as Taiwan’s premier said the island needed to be on alert for China’s “over the top” military activities, a day after 56 Chinese aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defence zone in their largest such incursion.

“It is Japan’s consistent stance that we hope the issue surrounding Taiwan will be resolved through direct dialogue between the parties involved,” Mr Kishi told a news conference.

He retained his post in a Cabinet formed on Monday by new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the democratically governed island, often in the south-western part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

Taiwan has termed China’s activities as “grey zone” warfare, designed to wear down Taiwanese forces and test their abilities.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified, by force if necessary.

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