President Tsai Ing-wen received a delegation from Japan led by the country’s former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori at the Presidential Office Aug. 9 in Taipei City, saying the visit was a chance to deepen bilateral relations while furthering cooperation on combating COVID-19.
Tsai thanked the 11-member group, which included members of the Japanese parliament from multiple parties, for making the trip to Taiwan to pay their final respects to former President Lee Teng-hui. Their long-term support for Taiwan-Japan relations is deeply appreciated by the government and people, she added.
According to Tsai, the relationship between Taiwan and Japan was extremely important to Lee. Thanks to his efforts, bilateral ties improved significantly, which left a lasting legacy reflected in the number of tourists from both sides that visit each year, she said.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan and Japan have cooperated closely on issue such as the Diamond Princess cruise ship and arrangements of charter flights to repatriate nationals from Fiji, India, Peru and Russia, Tsai said. It is hoped the two like-minded partners will have more opportunities to cooperate on information sharing, research and development of vaccines and drugs, as well as personnel exchanges in the future, she added.
The president also took the opportunity to thank current Japan PM Shinzo Abe and other officials for speaking out on many occasions in support of Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly. Likewise Taiwan’s government and people are fully backing the delayed Tokyo Olympics next year, Tsai said.
In response, Mori thanked the government of Taiwan for allowing special dispensation for the one-day trip during the pandemic, adding the fact the delegation was organized jointly by Japan’s ruling and opposition parties demonstrates bipartisan respect for Lee.
Mori conveyed Abe’s condolences for the former president and expressed appreciation and admiration for Lee’s lifelong contributions to Taiwan-Japan relations. Friendship between both sides will hopefully last forever, he added. (SFC-E)
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