I was only being sarcastic the other day when I referred to the Japan-U.S. Mutual Security Treaty 日米安保 as an "obscure" document, but apparently it is to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs 中華民国外交部, at least judging by this article from today's Taipei Times newspaper ("Ministry unaware of US view on Diaoyutai islands" http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/03/06/2003437734):
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was unaware that the US had recently said the US-Japan security treaty includes the much-disputed Diaoyutai archipelago in the East China Sea 東シナ海, Department of North American Affairs Director-General Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) said yesterday during a weekly briefing...He said the reason that MOFA was unaware of the State Department’s アメリカ合衆国国務省 position was there had been no public announcement and it only existed as a guidance note for dealing with direct questions from reporters. 'I didn’t ask the US for more information on this particular issue,' Tseng said. 'For a more thorough explanation of the statement, I would suggest you go and speak to the AIT 米国在台湾協会. The government’s stance is very clear: That we have rightful claim over the Diaoyutais.'"
Doesn't anybody at MOFA bother to read newspapers or check the wire services? The statement from the AIT last week wasn't even the first time the US government has clarified its stance on the Senkaku Islands 尖閣諸島. A quick Google search revealed that:
"The 1960 US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security applies to territories under the administration of Japan, including the Senkaku Islands. In November 1996, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Kurt M.) Campbell stated that the basic position of the US is that the Japan-US security treaty would cover the Senkaku Islands. Secretary of Defense William Perry reconfirmed this fact on 03 December 1996"
"On March 24, 2004, Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman at the US State Department said 'The Senkaku Islands have been under the administrative control of the Government of Japan since having been returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa 沖縄 in 1972. Article 5 of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security states that the treaty applies to the territories under the administration of Japan; thus, Article 5 of the Mutual Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands. Sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands is disputed. The U.S. does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Diaoyu Islands. This has been our longstanding view. We expect the claimants will resolve this issue through peaceful means and we urge all claimants to exercise restraint.'"
So apparently MOFA employees don't know how to use search engines, either. You would think those who are tasked with the job of managing Taiwan's foreign affairs would have been more familiar with Japan's security treaty with the United States (it doesn't take a Master's in International Relations to figure out the implications of the aforementioned Article 5) , but it seems that isn't the case at all.
In addition to Japanese islands, it appears Taiwan is also eying Japanese know how, according to Japan Focus ("Taiwan to set up company to solicit U.S., Japan DRAM patents" http://www.japantoday.com/category/technology/view/taiwan-to-set-up-company-to-solicit-us-japan-dram-patents):
"Taiwan announced Thursday it will set up a company to attract overseas technology, including from Japan, for the manufacture of dynamic random access memory chips in a bid to rescue the island’s $28 billion DRAM industry. The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ plan to establish the Taiwan Memory Co within the next six months comes as the island’s chipmakers are reeling from a supply glut and plummeting exports amid the global financial crisis."
If the bureaucrats at the MOEA are anything like their counterparts at MOFA, Taiwan's chipmakers are probably doomed.