TOKYO – The first mention of Taiwan in a joint statement between the leaders of the United States and Japan since 1969 was couched as the “Taiwan Strait” – despite Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga revealing at a press conference with President Joe Biden that Taiwan was discussed.

Citing the waterway that separates Taiwan from mainland China, instead of the island that China regards as a renegade province, analysts said, was a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for Japan as it is caught in a balancing act between the two superpowers.

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