Newspaper article China Post

Renho Unlikely to Change Japan's 'One China' Stance

Newspaper article China Post

Renho Unlikely to Change Japan's 'One China' Stance

Article excerpt

The prospect of a "half Taiwanese" becoming Japan's prime minister has created much hype in Taiwan.

Yet whoever leads the Japanese government, don't expect any major changes to Tokyo's stance on the "one China" principle.

The local media coverage of the election of Renho to lead Japan's main opposition Democratic Party (DP) has been heavily focused on her possession of "Taiwanese" citizenship.

But for Renho, her personal connection to Taiwan most likely ranks low on the list of priorities for her political career.

The 48-year-old rising political star was born in Tokyo to a Taiwanese father and a Japanese mother but did not acquire Japanese citizenship until she was 1, after Japan amended its nationality law.

Reportedly, she failed in an attempt at the time to renounce her Taiwanese citizenship after a mix-up.

Renho claims she was unaware until recently that she still held Taiwanese citizenship.

Nevertheless, the issue did not prevent her from running for, and then winning the DP's leadership election.

The new head of the opposition has said she has now submitted an application to renounce her Taiwan citizenship.

Despite the impending renunciation of her citizenship, Renho has still showed friendliness to Taiwan, telling the Central News Agency: "Taiwan is the home of my father. I will work hard in Japan. I hope the people of Taiwan will support me."

But we should take note of her description of Taiwan as the home of her father and not her own.

For a Tokyo-born politician who has lived all her life in Japan (bar a period spent studying China), married to Japanese husband, and whose children were born in Japan, it is clear where her obligations, interests and priorities lie.

So when Renho reiterated the Japanese government's long-standing recognition of the "one China" principle, she was only following the example of every other Japanese politician who has sought to climb to the pinnacle of the political system.

What Renho believes privately is irrelevant. …

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