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International relations

Japan, Taiwan agree to boost economic security cooperation

Aim to promote supply chain resiliency for semiconductors and essentials

Japanese Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers Masahisa Sato, left, and Akimasa Ishikawa talked with their counterparts in Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party on Friday, Dec. 24.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Lawmakers of the ruling parties of Japan and Taiwan agreed Friday to bolster cooperation in the field of economic security with an emphasis on supply chain resiliency for semiconductors and other crucial goods.

During online talks attended by members of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party and Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwanese side showed strong interest in a planned bill to promote economic security which Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government aims to submit to parliament next year.

"We must make it effective legislation," said Akimasa Ishikawa, head of the LDP's Economy, Trade and Industry Division.

The meeting was held as the LDP has stepped up exchanges with the Taiwanese ruling party, with the self-ruled island facing military pressure from an increasingly assertive China.

In the meeting, the LDP welcomed Taipei's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement between 11 Pacific Rim countries, which China has also applied to join, Masahisa Sato, chief of the LDP Foreign Affairs Division, told reporters.

Japan, a member of the TPP, said earlier it welcomes Taiwan's application to take part in the trade deal and it sees no technical problem with it, while Beijing has expressed strong opposition to Taipei's move and has lodged a protest to it.

Taiwan submitted an application to join the regional trade pact in September, just days after mainland China filed its bid for membership.

To join the free trade deal, both China and Taiwan will need the unanimous approval of all 11 member countries -- Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The latest meeting follows online talks in August involving Sato and other LDP lawmakers as well as Taiwan's DPP members in charge of foreign affairs and defense, during which they agreed to enhance cooperation over security issues.

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