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  • President Tsai and Vice President Chen meet Japanese Diet delegation led by LDP Youth Division Director Keisuke Suzuki
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President Tsai meets with a delegation from Japan's House of Representatives led by Mr. Keisuke Suzuki, Director of the Youth Division of the Liberal Democratic Party. President Tsai exchanges gifts with Mr. Keisuke Suzuki, Director of the Youth Division of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party. Vice President Chen shakes hands with Mr. Keisuke Suzuki, Director of the Youth Division of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party. Vice President Chen exchanges views with Mr. Keisuke Suzuki, Director of the Youth Division of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party.
President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Chen Chien-jen met on the morning of March 20 with a delegation from Japan's House of Representatives led by Mr. Keisuke Suzuki, Director of the Youth Division of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). On behalf of the government, the president and vice president welcomed the visitors to Taiwan and expressed hope that, with the continued assistance of the delegation members, Taiwan and Japan can work together to maintain and advance close and friendly relations.

In remarks, President Tsai welcomed Mr. Suzuki and noted that this was his fifth time to lead a delegation of Diet members and key officers of the LDP Youth Division to Taiwan.

The president stated that since Taiwan's new administration came to power it has attached great importance to Taiwan-Japan relations. Pointing out that senior heavyweights Mr. Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Mr. Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) are now the ROC representative to Japan and the chairman of the Association of East Asian Relations, respectively, the president expressed confidence that based on the existing foundation these two leaders will be able to further enhance the already robust exchanges between the two nations. President Tsai also specially thanked the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for demonstrating a spirit of active cooperation soon after her government took office, and said that her administration would also demonstrate the same spirit.

President Tsai also stated that Taiwan's Legislative Yuan established a cross-party Taiwan-Japan parliamentary friendship group in 2016. Chaired by Legislative Yuan President Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), it is the largest foreign affairs-related legislative caucus. The Japanese Diet, meanwhile, has a Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council. Since Taiwan's new administration came to power, bilateral relations in both the public and private sectors have been steadily growing. Mr. Suzuki, moreover, has been to Taiwan many times, has an extensive network of personal ties, is intimately familiar with our country, and is an important friend of ours. The president expressed hope that Mr. Suzuki and the other delegation members will continue to support Taiwan and enable Taiwan-Japan relations to improve even further.

When Vice President Chen addressed the visitors, he noted that Mr. Suzuki led a delegation of more than 60 Diet members and local elected officials to Taiwan for training programs and exchanges not long after taking over as director of the LDP Youth Division in August 2016, successfully helping a younger generation of politicians and local officials in Japan to gain a better understanding of political and economic conditions in Taiwan. And the members of the current visiting delegation also represent an up-and-coming generation on the Japanese political scene. Indeed, said the vice president, by once more leading a delegation to Taiwan, Mr. Suzuki has set an outstanding example for friendly relations between Taiwan and Japan.

Vice President Chen pointed out that from both a geopolitical and a historical perspective, Taiwan and Japan have extremely close substantive relations and people-to-people ties, and interactions are especially frequent in such areas as economics and trade, tourism, and culture. Also, Taiwan and Japan are partners in upholding the universal values of democracy, freedom, and human rights, and Taiwan's government will act in accordance with the principle of steadfast diplomacy to continue enhancing stable and friendly ties between the two countries.

Vice President Chen mentioned that Japan's diplomatic representation in Taiwan was renamed the "Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association" on January 1, 2017. This new name signals an improvement in Taiwan-Japan relations, and is the result of unflagging efforts on the parts of both governments, he said.

The vice president stressed that Taiwanese and Japanese companies have strong overseas presence across the world. If they could share resources and coordinate with each other in embarking upon emerging markets—especially those potential ones in the ASEAN region and South Asia—the results would surely be mutually beneficial. The Taiwan government is now actively promoting its New Southbound Policy in hopes of engaging in a more diverse range of interactions and exchanges with countries in the aforementioned regions, so Japanese companies are very welcome to take part in Taiwan's industrial innovation program and the New Southbound Policy. Hopefully, he said, the visitors can help both countries seize upon more opportunities for industrial exchanges and cooperation so that bilateral relations can further improve.

And finally, Vice President Chen called on his visitors to continue working to enhance ties under the auspices of the cross-party Taiwan-Japan parliamentary friendship group, and to support Taiwan's participation in the process of regional economic integration as well as such international bodies as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Organization. Frequent exchanges and visits, said the vice president, will surely bring improved mutual understanding and enable the two sides to create win-win situations.

The group was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office Chief Representative Mikio Numata.
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