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Indo-Pacific

Getting Taiwan just right: Inside Japan and US's historic statement

Washington suggested a Taiwan Relations Act to Tokyo, but settled for less

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on April 16.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga felt a tinge of trepidation when he and a small group his closest aides gathered in the Oval Office to discuss heighten tensions in East Asia with U.S. President Joe Biden and his top advisers.

There was a lot on the line at the April 16 summit. Kurt Campbell, the U.S. Indo-Pacific coordinator on the National Security Council, had flown to Japan in the days leading up to the White House visit. One of the multiple proposals he brought with him included urging Japan to adopt its own version of the Taiwan Relations Act, which allows the U.S. to provide arms to the island for its defense despite a lack of formal diplomatic ties. 

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