Ben Blanchard
For Ben Blanchard's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Lai Ching-te (left), Taiwanese presidential candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party, introduces Hsiao Bi-khim (right), former Taiwan representative to the United States, as his running mate in the 2024 election, during a news conference at Lai's campaign headquarters in Taipei on Monday.
Nov 21, 2023
Taiwan poll about whether to embrace China or not, front-runner says
Taiwan has to choose whether the island keeps moving forward on the road to democracy or "walks into the embrace of China," Lai Ching-te said.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative Hsiao Bi-khim waits to be introduced during the opening ceremony of the first ever Taiwan Expo in Washington on Oct. 12, 2022.
Nov 16, 2023
Taiwan presidential frontrunner taps U.S. envoy as running mate
Born in Japan to a Taiwanese father and American mother, Hsiao Bi-khim has been Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the U.S. since 2020.
Kuomintang head Eric Chu, Hou Yu-ih, the party's presidential candidate, former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and the People’s Party chief Ko Wen-je posing for a group photo in Taipei on Wednesday. The two parties have agreed to team up to take on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in the January election.
Nov 15, 2023
Taiwan opposition unite to challenge presidential front-runner
The island's two main opposition parties have vowed to renew talks with China even as the ruling party decries interference from Beijing.
Taiwan Vice President and presidential candidate Lai Ching-te
Oct 24, 2023
Taiwan presidential front-runner assails China's Foxconn probe
The major Apple supplier is facing a tax probe in China, two sources close to the company said Monday, confirming a report in Chinese state-run media.
Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong (left) while being monitored by a Taiwanese Keelung class warship (right) at sea. Taiwan said on Wednesday that it had detected numerous Chinese warplanes around the island.
Sep 13, 2023
Taiwan reports 28 Chinese air force planes in its air defense zone
Taipei said that war planes, including J-10 fighters, had flown into the southwestern corner of the island's air defense identification zone, or ADIZ.
Japan Times
Jul 11, 2023
Foxconn exits $19.5 billion venture with Vedanta to build chip plant in India
The world"s largest contract electronics manufacturer signed a pact with its Indian partner last year to set up semiconductor and display production plants in the state of Gujarat.
Japan Times
Jul 4, 2023
China buzzes Taiwan's median line as Taipei officials caution against alarm
Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory despite the island"s strong objections, has over the past three years reported almost daily missions by Chinese military aircraft nearby.
Japan Times
Jun 9, 2023
Taiwanese foreign minister to make trip to Europe next week, sources say
Central and Eastern European countries have been particularly keen to show support for Taiwan — especially following Russia"s invasion of Ukraine.
Japan Times
Apr 12, 2023
Trip shows Taiwan determined to safeguard freedom and democracy, Tsai says
"Faced with continued authoritarian expansionism, it is even more critical for democracies to actively unite," she said.
Japan Times
Dec 27, 2022
Taiwan to extend conscription to one year, citing rising China threat
China's growing assertiveness toward the island, as well as Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have prompted debate calls to boost defense.
Japan Times
Oct 12, 2022
Fearing war in Xi's next term, Taiwan bolsters defenses
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has made modernizing the country's armed forces a priority, developing what she has called "comprehensive asymmetric warfare capabilities."
Japan Times
Sep 19, 2022
Strong earthquake in southeastern Taiwan kills one and injures 146
More than 600 people are trapped on the scenic Chike and Liushishi mountain areas by blocked roads, though there were no injuries and rescuers were working to reopen the roads.
Japan Times
Sep 16, 2022
'Humor over rumor': Taiwan eyes Ukraine messaging model if China attacks
Taiwan is looking at Ukraine's ways of communicating its message to the outside world at a time of conflict, by making use of tools such as satellites and deploying humor.
Japan Times
Aug 31, 2022
Taiwan shoots at Chinese drone after president warns of 'strong countermeasures'
Footage of at least two drone missions showing Taiwanese soldiers at their posts, and in one case throwing rocks at a drone, have circulated widely on Chinese social media.
Japan Times
Aug 28, 2022
Taiwan opposition defends 'brave' China outreach after controversial visit
Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said the visit was wrong and that opposition parties should recognize that China is "the instigator of the destruction of peace in the Taiwan Strait."
Japan Times
Aug 22, 2022
Taiwan touts 'democracy chips' in meeting with Indiana governor
Gov. Eric Holcomb was making the third trip to Taiwan this month by a U.S. delegation after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited briefly, infuriating China.
Japan Times
May 3, 2022
Supply chains snarl Taiwan tech firms as some strive to meet demand
Companies are reporting a strong market for products, especially in automotives and high-end computing, but difficulty in securing inputs.
Japan Times
Mar 9, 2022
Taiwan studies Ukraine war for own battle strategy with China
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has championed the idea of "asymmetric warfare," as has been seen in Ukraine, to make its forces more mobile and hard to attack.
Japan Times
Feb 23, 2022
Taiwan casts wary eye at China amid Ukraine crisis
While Taipei is always on alert, there have been no unusual maneuvers by Chinese forces in recent days, officials say.
Japan Times
Jan 14, 2022
Inside Taiwan's brutal navy frogman bootcamp
Of the group of 31 who started the 10 week course, only 15 finished, with the closing week at the sprawling Zuoying navy base in southern Taiwan being the last test.


Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago