Chinese ballistic missile launches around Taiwan, some of which landed inside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), are a “serious problem affecting our national security and that of our citizens,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today. .
“We call for an immediate halt to China’s military drills,” which began on Thursday and are expected to continue until Sunday, Mr Kishida added after meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who arrived yesterday Thursday in Tokyo.
Mr. Kishida also reaffirmed that Japan and the US “will continue to coordinate closely to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
Mrs. Pelosi, 82, who is making her first visit to Japan since 2015, sparked Beijing’s ire by traveling to Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday. Beijing considers the autonomous island of 23 million people an integral part of Chinese territory, a breakaway province destined to be reunited with the mainland in the future.
China began an unprecedented wide-ranging military drill around Taiwan yesterday, deploying fighter jets, helicopters and ships and launching ballistic missiles, some of which flew over the island and fell, for the first time, inside Japan’s EEZ, according to the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo.