Amid heated criticism from Chinese Premier Li Peng over Japan’s support of the U.S. in a hypothetical China-Taiwan conflict, the Liberal Democratic Party said August 22 that it will not specifically define the “areas surrounding Japan” phrase of the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation pact, but that Japan respects Beijing’s one-China policy.

Taku Yamasaki, the LDP’s policy chief, wrote an opaque, eight-point memo to that effect and presented it to the ruling party allies as a draft for a joint statement on the issue. The phrase refers to areas in which Japanese support would be required for U.S. military forces in the event of an emergency.

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