Making Sub-national Relations between Japan and Taiwan



A new paper posted to the JCA website examines sub-national relations between Taiwan and Japan. Since Japan recognised the People’s Republic of China, these local-level relations have had an increased significance.

Taiwan’s Sub-national Government Relations with Japan: Post-1979 Developments (10.1080/00472336.2016.1238499) is by City University of Hong Kong’s Nicholas Thomas and Brad Williams.

The paper’s abstract states:



In 1972 the Japanese government ended its diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China. And yet it did not. In the aftermath of that decision, colonial legacy ties between Taiwan and Japan were drawn upon to create a new form of relationship, with ties that were official in all but name. Taiwanese cities and counties were also encouraged to develop formal ties with their Japanese counterparts. These sub-national ties are a critical – but little researched – component of the enduring bilateral relationship between these two countries. This article – based on extensive fieldwork in both countries – is an initial effort in understanding how these ties have developed and function, and how they support bilateral relations between Taiwan and Japan. Drawing on additional fieldwork in China, this article also considers what formal limitations exist on the para-diplomatic relations between these countries.

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