Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today that China's military exercises targeting Taiwan pose a "serious problem" that threatens regional peace and security after five ballistic missiles fired as part of the exercises landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone , BTA reported, citing the Associated Press.

Kishida, who made the statement after a working breakfast with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation of congressmen, said the missile launches "must be stopped immediately".

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China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary, called Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island earlier in the week a provocation.

And yesterday, military exercises began, which include training to launch missiles in six areas around Taiwan.

These are China's biggest military maneuvers since the mid-1990s.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles landed yesterday in Japan's exclusive economic zone off Hateruma, an island south of Japan's main islands.

The minister said Japan protested to China because the missiles threatened Japanese national security and the lives of Japanese people.

Japan's top diplomat Yoshimasa Hayashi, who is at a regional forum in Cambodia, said China's actions "severely undermine peace and stability in the region and the international community, and we demand an immediate end to the military exercises."

General security concerns, given the actions of China, North Korea and Russia, were also condemned at the working breakfast.

The two countries have reaffirmed their determination to work for peace and stability in Taiwan, Prime Minister Kishida said. 

Pelosi is scheduled to hold a meeting with her Japanese counterpart - the chairman of the lower house of the Japanese parliament, Hiroyuki Hosoda.

A few days before Pelosi's visit, Taiwan was visited by a Japanese delegation of senior Japanese lawmakers, followed by former Defense Secretary Shigeru Ishiba. 

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Ishiba said Japan was working with the US to prevent conflict in the Indo-Pacific region, but also wanted a defense agreement with Taiwan.


Nancy Pelosi