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MOFA DISMISSES REPORTS ABOUT NEW JAPANESE CONCERNS OVER REFERENDUM

2004-02-05 18:07:22

    Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) Japan has not again expressed concern about Taiwan's planned referendum scheduled for next month, a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Thursday.

    Richard Shih made the remarks in response to a media report that said a spokesman from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs again expressed worries about cross-strait tensions the previous day.

    Hatsuhisa Takashima said that the basic stance of the Japanese government is that it is concerned about Taiwan's referendum, and not the questions to be put to a vote, according to the mass-circulation United Daily News. The spokesman also said that since both the United States and Japan are concerned about the issue, Taiwan should exercise caution, the report added.

    Shih said that Taiwan's representative office in Japan has checked with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it had denied the reports.

    Shih added that Japan has only sent Katsuhisa Uchida, director of the Interchange Association's Taipei Office, to call on Chiou I-jen, secretary-general of the Presidential Office Dec. 29, to express concern about the planned referendum along with the presidential election on March 20.

    Shih said the spokesman of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had only said in a routine news conference Wednesday that both the United States and Japan hope that there would be dialogue, not rivalry, between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and that Taiwan should deal with the referendum with caution.

(By Lilian Wu)

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