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Image: AP
The Foreign Ministry of Taiwan has welcomed the decision of a Japanese delegation to visit the island nation at a time tensions escalate with China over the recent visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei. 
According to an ANI report, two members of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party will be in Taiwan from August 22 to 24 and will meet President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss strengthening defence arrangements with the United States and to express their opinions on China’s live-fire military drill. 
Furuya Keiji, the Chairman of the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, and Kihara Minoru, the council’s secretary general, have been welcomed to Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Friday, Taiwan News reported.  
Further, the leaders will also examine proposals for sending a council delegation to Double Ten Day festivities and taking part in a conference of lawmakers from Japan, the US, and Taiwan to discuss regional strategic issues, as per a Kyodo News report.   
In addition to this, , Vice President Lai Ching-te, Premier Su Tseng-chang, Legislative Speaker You Hsi-kun, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, and Chair of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Su Jia-chyuan are among individuals with whom Furuya and Kihara will meet. 
According to the Taiwan News report, the two Japanese leaders will also visit the Wuzhi Mountain Military Cemetery to pay their respects to the late former president Lee Teng-hui. 
Indicating the Japanese politicians’ trip to Taiwan, the Taiwansese Foreign Ministry stated that nations should band together to protect the common principles of freedom and democracy at a time when authoritarian regimes want to invade and expand overseas, exacerbating regional unrest, and undermine the basic international order.  
As per the Foreign Ministry, Japan and Taiwan are close allies and both members of the global democratic camp. The visit of Furuya and Kihara will strengthen the two countries’ substantive collaboration, Taiwan News reported. Notably, over 260 National Diet members of the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council have worked tirelessly for years to maintain cordial relations between Taiwan and Japan, according to Taipei’s MOFA. 
Meanwhile, this month’s visit of Pelosi to Taiwan has led to an increase in regional tension. Additionally, following the arrival of the US delegation, Beijing began extensive military drills near the island, including live-fire exercises and military aircraft overflights close to Taiwan’s airspace. 
On Friday, August 19, China deployed at least 21 planes and five warships to perform drills close to Taipei’s border areas. Five People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships and 21 PLA (People’s Liberation Army) planes were reportedly spotted on Friday up to 5 PM, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry. Four Xi’an JH-7 fighter-bombers, two Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, and two Shenyang J-11 jets were among the aircraft. According to the Taiwan News report, the JH-7 and Su-30 planes crossed the middle line at its northern end, while the two J-11 fighters did likewise at its southern end.  
(Image: AP)

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