Taiwan and Japan should deepen economic ties by jointly exploring business opportunities in emerging markets across South and Southeast Asia, according to Premier Lai Ching-te July 7.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s New Southbound Policy is in line with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for expanded trade relations with India and Southeast Asian nations, Lai said. Taiwan-Japan collaboration in strengthening industrial links with NSP target countries would deliver significant benefits for all, he added.
The premier also urged Japan to support Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Membership would facilitate stronger two-way trade ties and enhance cooperation on promoting regional development, he said.
Lai made the remarks at the opening of the fourth edition of a summit for local council members from both sides. Organized by the Kaohsiung City Council, the one-day event brought together a record 400-plus participants comprising 118 Taiwan attendees and 323 officials from 40 Japanese prefectural and municipal assemblies.
Bilateral relations are going from strength to strength, Lai said, noting that 14 Taiwan mayors and magistrates visited Japan in 2017 while 23 Japan mayors and prefectural governors traveled to Taiwan. The same year, local governments from the two sides inked 32 agreements in areas spanning culture, education and tourism, he added.
According to the premier, this strong friendship is further evidenced by Japan’s support for disaster relief efforts after a magnitude 6 earthquake in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County this February.
Lai took the opportunity to express concern and sympathy on behalf of people of Taiwan to those affected by the magnitude 6.1 temblor June 18 in Osaka prefecture, as well as the ongoing flooding and torrential rain in western Japan.
As Taiwan and Japan are located in seismically active regions and face similar threats from weather events such as typhoons, closer exchanges on disaster mitigation and relief could help strengthen respective capabilities and resources, Lai said.
Launched in 2015, the annual summit involves participants sharing views on fields spanning economy, technology and tourism. This year’s discussions also centered on marketing strategies for the agricultural industry, population aging and smart city development. (CPY-E)
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