Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Wednesday that Japan has protested to China through diplomatic channels over comments related to Tokyo's policy toward Taiwan made by Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wu Jianghao.

Hayashi called the comments "extremely inappropriate," in reference to Wu's speech at a press conference in Tokyo late last month that if Japan linked Taiwan to its own security, the Japanese people "would be dragged into the fire."

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wu Jianghao attends a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on April 28, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Hayashi was responding to questions from an opposition lawmaker at a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee meeting.

Hayashi stressed that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are important to Japan's security. He explained that Japan has repeatedly conveyed its position to China on occasions including top-level dialogue that Tokyo hopes that issues related to Taiwan will be resolved peacefully.

At the April press conference, Wu criticized as "absurd" the perception that an emergency over Taiwan would also be an emergency situation for Japan and said Japan's involvement in Taiwan issues would undermine the foundation of Japan-China relations.

China regards Taiwan, a self-ruled democratic island, as a renegade province to be brought into its fold, by force if necessary.

Wu assumed his new post in March.

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