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Japan companies urge Taiwan to retain talent

Japanese firms are calling on the Taiwan government to combat the flow of local talent into mainland China.

No country wants its talent to pour out from its borders, said Ichiro Watanabe (渡邊一郎), chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (台北市日本工商會).

But salaries in mainland China are on the rise, luring more and more Taiwan talent. Meanwhile, those who do stay in Taiwan face a stagnant job market. As a result, there is an obvious scarcity of highly skilled professionals in the local job market, he said.

Japanese businesses are invested in local talent retention, as they cannot expand in Taiwan without a stable source of skilled professionals, he said.

Watanabe yesterday presided at the release of the chamber's 2012 White Paper and presented the document to Taiwan's Council for Economic Planning and Development.

The white paper promotes five policy recommendations for the Taiwan government: expediting Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement follow-up talks and free trade pacts; striking an economic partnership agreement with Japan; promoting Taiwan-Japan business cooperation and ensuring a source of talent; creating a stable investment environment; and maintaining a dialogue with the Japan government to improve the living conditions of expatriates.

What Diaoyutais Row?

Japanese companies operating in Taiwan have not been affected by a long-simmering territorial dispute among Taiwan, China and Japan over the Diaoyutai Islands, said Watanabe yesterday.

China-Japan relations “may have frozen” due to the East China Sea dispute, but Japanese businesses and expatriates in Taiwan “have not experienced much influence,” he said. “Taiwanese people trust Japan and also like Japan.”

Besides, Taiwan has said that it has no intention to join with China against Japan in the territorial dispute, which shows that there will not be much of a problem between Japan and Taiwan, he added.

Located some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, the Diaoyutai Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, have been under Japan's control since 1972 but are also claimed by Taiwan and China, which calls them the Diaoyu Islands.

Tensions have escalated among Taiwan, Japan and China over the archipelago ever since Japan made moves to nationalize the island chain by buying three of the uninhabited islets from its private owner Sept. 11.

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