Three major political parties in Japan have included Taiwan among issues in their campaign platforms ahead of next month’s upper house elections.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) and the Japan Innovation Party (JIP) are among those vying for 125 seats in the House of Councilors in the July 10 vote.
The upper house of the Japanese Diet has 284 seats, about half of which are up for re-election every three years.
The CDP, the nation’s largest opposition party, has proposed to establish an international institution for security cooperation within the ASEAN Plus Three network to ensure that there is not “a Taiwan emergency,” it said.
ASEAN Plus Three refers to the 10 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan and South Korea.
The CDP also advocates for enhancing the quality of Japan’s national defense abilities.
The JIP proposes in its campaign platform to “establish a Japanese version of the [US’s] Taiwan Relations Act” to boost ties with Taiwan, and would negotiate a free-trade agreement.
The LDP also promises to strengthen Japan’s defenses, saying that many NATO members spend 2 percent of their GDP on national defense, a target also supported by the JIP.
The LDP last year said in its campaign for the House of Representatives — or lower house — that it would bolster cooperation with Taiwan, the US, Australia, India, Europe, ASEAN and Pacific island nations to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
The party maintains the same stance in its campaign platforms for the upcoming upper house election.
As this is the first national election since Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida assumed office last year, political observers have said that the results of the upper house elections would be viewed as an assessment of his administration.
The LDP and its coalition partner, Komeito, hold 138 seats in the upper house, 69 of which are not up for election this year.
Kishida’s LDP is trying to maintain a majority of the upper house seats, which would require winning 56 seats, with Komeito contributing to the total.
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