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Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome to Fantasyland: the Commonwealth of Taiwan - Security

Kaminoge's summer fantasy rolls on...

Taiwan Grand Shrine 台湾神宮, a Shintō shrine 神社 constructed in Taihoku 台北 in 1901 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Taiwan_Grand_Shrine.jpg)

In addition to managing Taiwan’s 台湾 foreign relations, the central government in Japan is also responsible for the defense of the island. In order to avoid upsetting Chinese sensitivities, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces 自衛隊 keep a low profile on Taiwan, and the primary responsibility for the commonwealth’s security falls on Japan’s Coast Guard 海上保安庁. In particular, the JCG maintains a visible presence in the waters around the Hōko Archipelago 澎湖諸島, ensuring that Chinese and other foreign fishing vessels stay out of Taiwan’s exclusive economic zone.

Owing to its status as an external territory of Japan, Taiwan’s security is covered under the terms of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan 日本国とアメリカ合衆国との間の相互協力及び安全保障条約. As part of efforts to demonstrate American resolve regarding the defense of Japan, the U.S. military holds annual exercises on Taiwan in conjunction with the SDF.

Taiwan does not maintain a territorial army or an American-style national guard. Being Japanese citizens, Taiwanese are permitted to enlist in the Self-Defense Forces. In fact, a relatively high percentage of SDF members from Taiwan are made up of members from Formosa’s aboriginal tribes 台湾原住民, with military service having long been considered one of the most effective routes for Taiwan’s native peoples to escape from discrimination and economic inequality.

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