Multi Partisan Delegation from Japan Visited Ko, called Ko the Dark Horse
Member of Parliament, Maehara Seiji from the Democratic Party For the People of Japan (DPFP), along with other Members of Parliament from other Japanese opposition parties, including the Japan Innovation Party and The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, paid a visit to the chairman of the Taiwan People's Party, Ko Wen-je, on the morning of July 3rd. They exchanged views on national defense and security, economic and trade matters, as well as the upcoming presidential election. Maehara Seiji has previously served as Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. Additionally, he is a member of the multi-partisan "Japan-Taiwan Friendship Group" (日華懇) in the Japanese parliament. Also present at the meeting were Chen-yuan Chiu, TPP Caucus Convener, legislator Cynthia Wu, Secretary-General Tai-chu Chou, and Principal Advisor Ming-chu Hsieh.
During his speech, Chairman Ko stated that Taiwan's international visibility has significantly increased due to the impact of the US-China Conflict. From a geopolitical perspective, Japan is just as important as the United States, not to mention being Taiwan's most important ally in the Asia-Pacific region. Ko hopes to restart the trilateral conversation among the United States, Japan, and Taiwan, and deepen the exchange between Taiwan and Japan's research institutions to enhance bilateral technological strategic cooperation. On the economic front, it is necessary to diversify labor in the industrial supply chain to strengthen the competitiveness of both sides.
Former Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji pointed out that in the face of China's continuous military expansion, its ultimate goal is not simply to unify Taiwan but to demonstrate its strength in confronting the United States by breaching the first island chain, which includes Okinawa, Taiwan, and the Philippines, in order to dominate the world. If China were to annex Taiwan and break through the first island chain, it would also pose a threat to Japan and South Korea. For Japan, maintaining security in Northeast Asia is of paramount importance.
Chairman Ko stated that Taiwan cannot directly confront China through military force. Therefore, in terms of defense and diplomatic policy, Taiwan should adhere to two principles. The first principle is "deterrence," which means making China aware of the substantial cost of invading Taiwan, thereby averting China from taking impetuous actions. The second principle is "communication." Chairman Ko cited the example of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, pointing out that even during the Cold War, there was still a hotline maintained to avoid the most unfavorable situations.
During the meeting, representative Satoshi Asano from DPFP asked Chairman Ko about how TPP attracts young voters. Chairman Ko responded by saying that larger political parties naturally seek support from the majority of the population. However, for smaller parties, it is important to strategically target a specific "target audience" from the beginning. Additionally, emphasizing the use of "data" in governance can help accumulate support from young people and even highly educated individuals over the years.
Regarding the declining birthrate issue, Chairman Ko also expressed that the real reason for Taiwan's declining birthrate is not a lack of births but the continuous increase in the unmarried population. There are many factors contributing to this problem, and it cannot be solved by focusing on a single aspect. However, perhaps strengthening the "importance of family" through education could be a starting point.