One of the most important DPP foreign policy successes was broadening and deepening Taiwan’s relationship with Japan. Jason Miks has a nifty article over at World Politics Review on Taiwan’s excellent relations with Japan:

Indeed, while the relationship between China and Taiwan has only very recently begun to warm up, relations between Japan and Taiwan have been growing steadily stronger for years — especially over the past decade.

Sun points to the policies of former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, who has close personal ties with Japan and who has been a sharp critic of China, as laying much of the groundwork on which Chen worked to press for closer Taiwan-Japan ties. “There’s been a deepening and consolidating of Lee’s policies,” he said.

Prof. Phil Deans of Temple University’s Japan Campus in Tokyo agrees that there has been a shift in recent years. “From the late 1990s onwards there was a real ramping up of the relationship,” he said.

The closer ties have included increased trade — in 2006 Japan became Taiwan’s second biggest trade partner, while Taiwan was Japan’s fourth largest — as well as a tourist visa waiver program and the signing in May of a new aviation agreement under which the two countries will promote exchanges on aviation safety and cooperate on investigations into airline accidents.

Japan has also offered Taiwan political support, including, despite Chinese opposition, backing Taiwan’s so far unsuccessful bids for observer status at the World Health Assembly.

The article is long and good. What will Ma do with this relationship? Ma’s increasing deference to China suggests that Taiwan-Japan relations will molder under the new Administration.