Home/ News / World/  Nancy Pelosi visits Japan after Taiwan trip sparked outsized military drills

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi meet Japanese officials in Tokyo on Friday, following a visit to Taiwan.

Beijing answered Pelosi's with unprecedented military drills and missile launches including five that landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Five missiles landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Tokyo to lodge a strong protest through economic channels.

Japan's prime minister on Friday condemned China's firing of ballistic missiles during military drills around Taiwan, five of which Tokyo believes landed in its exclusive economic zone.

The missile launches are a "serious problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens," Fumio Kishida told reporters after meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for breakfast.

Pelosi's brief trip to Taiwan, where she arrived unannounced with a congressional delegation late on Tuesday and left on Wednesday, marked the highest-level US visit to the self-ruled island, which China claims as its own, in 25 years.

It also came as Tokyo, one of Washington's closest allies, has been increasingly alarmed about China's growing might in the Indo-Pacific and the possibility that Beijing could take military action against Taiwan.

Pelosi lauded Taiwan's democracy and pledged American solidarity. Beijing responded with military drills that a state broadcaster said would be the largest by China in the Taiwan Strait, including live firing on the waters and in the airspace around the island.

Before Pelosi landed, China banned food imports from more than 100 Taiwanese suppliers. On Wednesday morning, China’s Ministry of Commerce halted natural sand exports to Taiwan, without elaborating, and customs officials added boycotts to some fish and fruit imports.

Also Read: On China’s internet, fury at Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan turns to frustration

Apart from this, Taiwan faced cyberattacks late Tuesday, with the presidential office saying it suffered a 20-minute barrage in the early evening hours that was 200 times worse than usual. The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry’s website also appeared to face periodic disruptions.

Japan, whose southernmost islands are closer to Taiwan than Tokyo, has warned that Chinese intimidation of Taiwan is an escalating national security threat.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has also pledged to double military spending to 2% of GDP.

Tensions between Japan and China ramped up a notch on Thursday when China announced that a meeting between the two nations' foreign ministers, set to take place on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting in Cambodia, had been called off due to its displeasure with a G7 statement urging Beijing to resolve Taiwan tension peacefully.

Pelosi arrived in Japan following a visit to South Korea on Thursday, where she vowed support to denuclearise North Korea.

In Tokyo, she and Kishida met for discussions on Friday morning. She is also expected to meet her Japanese counterpart Hiroyuki Hosoda, speaker of the more powerful lower house of parliament.

While visiting Japan in May, U.S. President Joe Biden said he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan - a comment that appeared to stretch the limits of the U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" towards the island.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 05 Aug 2022, 06:01 AM IST
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