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International relations

China-Taiwan tensions pose tough questions for Japan PM hopefuls

Next leader will face big decisions on CPTPP membership and defense spending

The Taiwanese coast guard takes part in maritime exercises to simulate fending off terror attacks and invasion at a Taipei port in May 2019.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- With tensions rising between China and Taiwan, fraught cross-strait relations have emerged as a crucial topic in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election that will determine Japan's next leader.

Competing applications by Beijing and Taipei to join the CPTPP trade agreement add urgency to the issue of how Japan should approach the two neighbors, with the successor to Yoshihide Suga to face difficult decisions on trade and defense policy.

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