Japan said on Tuesday that it was “disappointed” by China, as the latter did not send any representative to the ceremony marking the second anniversary of its tsunami.
It is the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two states, as Japan and China simmer over a territorial row on Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.
Japan invited representatives from Taiwan to participate on an equal footing with other officials, in the national remembrance for people killed by the 2011 quake-tsunami.
“The Japanese government explained to China that we would treat Taiwan appropriately in this ceremony considering its enormous support to us,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Tokyo told Beijing “that this would not change Japan’s position over the status of Taiwan as stipulated in the Japan-China Joint Communique”, he said.
“But China did not understand and was absent from the ceremony, which is extremely disappointing and a great pity,” he said.
Taiwan is considered to be a renegade province by China, which is trying to bring the region back under control, including the use of force if necessary, according to the international press.
China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that Beijing had expressed opposition to Japan’s move in which it “treated a representative from Taiwan the same as diplomatic envoys and members of international institutions.”