November 04, 2020
Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council Chairman Keiji Furuya (left) hands the resolution to an official from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
By Yang Ming-chu and Evelyn Kao
TOKYO – A bipartisan group in Japan’s parliament passed a resolution Wednesday in support of Taiwan’s bid to participate in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA).
The resolution passed by the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, comprising more than 280 parliamentarians across party lines, was immediately handed to Shigeki Takizaki, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau; and Masaaki Iuchi, senior assistant minister in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
The group’s consistent position is that there should be no geographical gaps in international disease prevention efforts, and the global COVID-19 pandemic serves as an adequate justification for that view, the group said in the resolution.
Taiwan, which is separated from China by merely a strait, has successfully protected its people in the fight against COVID-19, as it took early action, according to the resolution, which was passed during a meeting convened by the group’s chairman Keiji Furuya.
Whether or not Taiwan is a member of the United Nations, it should be given the same opportunity as other countries to participate in the World Health Organization and freely express its opinions, the group said.
The WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO, held the first part of its 73rd annual meeting May 18-19 in a virtual format, due to the travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and is scheduled to reconvene Nov. 9-14.
The Japanese parliamentary group said their government will take the opportunity to show support for Taiwan’s participation in the event as an observer and will work with the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada and the European Union to express support for Taiwan’s bid to strengthen cooperation with other nations and regions, according to the resolution.
The group said it will also call on WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the WHO Secretariat to invite Taiwan to attend the WHA meeting, which will also be held virtually.