The Role of Japan in the Taiwan Issue
Compared with the US, which paid little attention to Taiwan’s strategic value until the outbreak of the Korean War, Japan’s concern about Taiwan appeared much earlier. After the Sino-Japanese War between 1894 and 1895, the defeated Qing Dynasty was forced to sign the “Treaty of Shimonoseki” (Ma Guan Tiao Yue), ceding Taiwan to Japan. Since then, Japan held on to its colonial rule over Taiwan for 50 years until Tokyo surrendered in the end of World War II. This long period of colonial rule not only made Japan have a far-reaching influence on Taiwan that no other country could match, but also generated a strong emotion in Japan’s elites and society about Taiwan, which is rarely found in other cases of a colonist and its colony. Moreover, Japan and Taiwan are both in East Asia, which has determined that Japan will deal with the Taiwan Issue from a perspective that may be essentially different from that of the US.