Yoshiyuki Ogasawara

Yoshiyuki Ogasawara

Professor of Taiwanese Politics, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Dr Yoshiyuki Ogasawara is a professor of Taiwanese politics at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He received a doctoral degree at Hitotsubashi University. He has been observing the development of Taiwanese politics for the past 30 years and has met many Taiwanese politicians including local village chiefs, party officials, legislators, ministers, and President Tsai Ing-wen. He published Presidential Elections in Taiwan in 2019, for which he received the Asia Pacific Award and the Kashiyama Junzo Award in 2020.

This picture taken on 14 April 2023 shows people walking down a street at the Ximen district in Taipei. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

What does 'Taiwan independence' mean?

Japanese academic Yoshiyuki Ogasawara notes that while there has been much talk of "Taiwan independence", it seems that there is actually little understanding of what the term really means, and what making any changes to Taiwan’s status would entail.
People walk past a Taiwan flag in Taipei, Taiwan, 7 March 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

‘Scepticism about the US’ spreading in Taiwan

Japanese academic Yoshiyuki Ogasawara notes that there is growing scepticism about the US in Taiwan — the longer the Ukraine war drags on, the more the Taiwanese people are anxious about the US’s help in the event of a Taiwan crisis. These sentiments will have an impact on the Taiwan presidential election in 2024.
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19, cast their vote at a polling station while participating in a four-question referendum in Taipei, Taiwan, 18 December 2021. (Annabelle Chih/Reuters)

Japanese academic: Taiwan’s national referendum vote shows democracy at work

​Taiwan’s four-question referendum did not pass, to the relief of the DPP and disappointment of the KMT, says Professor Yoshiyuki Ogasawara of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. That the motion to reinstate an import ban on pork with ractopamine, namely US pork, did not go through is significant, as it is an election issue that could have a detrimental impact on the DPP. Results aside, the referendum itself was a show of democracy at work and in some ways a bulwark against reunification with the mainland.