Japan Tells China To “Immediately Cancel” Military Drills Around Taiwan

Japan calls for 'immediate cancellation' of military exercises in China

Nancy Pelosi is in Tokyo for the final leg of an Asian tour.

Tokyo:

The Japanese prime minister on Friday condemned China’s firing of ballistic missiles during military exercises around Taiwan, calling them a “serious problem affecting our national security and the safety of our citizens”.

Five Chinese missiles appear to have fallen in the country’s exclusive economic zone, Tokyo said, and four of them flew over Taiwan’s main island.

“China’s actions this time have a serious impact on peace and stability in our region and the international community,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after meeting Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi before breakfast.

“I told her that we called for the immediate cancellation of the military exercises.”

Pelosi is in Tokyo for the final leg of an Asian tour with a stop in Taiwan, much to the ire of Beijing, which has launched its largest-ever military exercises around the self-ruled island in response.

The 82-year-old politician defied China’s stern threats to become the most senior US official to visit Taiwan in years, saying her trip made it “unequivocally clear” that the United States would not abandon a Democratic ally.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to retake the island one day, by force if necessary.

Kishida said he and Pelosi discussed geopolitical issues, including issues related to North Korea, China and Russia, as well as efforts for a nuclear-free world.

Pelosi arrived Thursday evening from South Korea, another key US ally, where she visited the border with the nuclear-armed north. It is her first time in Japan since 2015.

Tokyo has filed a diplomatic protest with Beijing over military exercises, which began Thursday.

Parts of Japan’s southernmost Okinawa region are close to Taiwan, as are islets at the center of a long-running dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.

Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extends 200 nautical miles from the coastline, beyond the boundaries of territorial waters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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