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Diaoyutais dispute to take toll on Taiwan-Japan military ties

ROC Central News Agency

2012/09/24 22:36:15

Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said Monday Taiwan will temporarily suspend military exchanges with Japan amid disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea.

Military exchanges with Japan will be carried out as planned once tensions over the territorial dispute die down, Kao said in response to opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim's question during a hearing on whether the Diaoyutai dispute would influence bilateral military ties.

Kao said it was necessary for Taiwan to conduct military exchanges with other democratic countries, but that such moves needed to be made without losing the nation's dignity.

He also noted that Shen Ssu-tsun, Taiwan's representative to Japan, has been recalled amid the dispute over the archipelago, and that the Ministry of National Defense needed to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Diaoyutai Islands, located around 100 nautical miles off northeastern Taiwan, have been administrated by Japan since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

Meanwhile, ministry spokesman Major General Luo Shou-he confirmed Monday that Vice Defense Minister Andrew Yang will attend the 2012 U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference to be held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Yang will ask the U.S. to reaffirm its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and its "Six Assurances" to Taiwan as outlined in 1982, and to continue selling defensive weapons to Taiwan to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Ann Chen)

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