On the morning of December 26, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Mr. Hirofumi Takinami, a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member of the Japanese Diet. She expressed hope that Japan will continue to support Taiwan and help our country work with the international community to collectively solve problems.
In remarks, the president welcomed the House of Councillors LDP members to Taiwan. She offered a special welcome to Mr. Takinami, who is married to a Taiwanese woman. For many years, he has enthusiastically promoted Taiwan-Japan parliamentary and community exchanges. She also expressed sincere gratitude for his efforts in foreign affairs, speaking out on behalf of Taiwan.
President Tsai pointed out that Japan is a major economic and trade partner for Taiwan. At the Taiwan-Japan Economic and Trade Conference held in Tokyo this past November, the two sides signed an Agreement on Taiwan-Japan Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters and a memorandum of understanding for cultural exchanges and cooperation, which should deepen bilateral cooperation.
The president then mentioned that Taiwan is actively promoting its New Southbound Policy. The government hopes that policy will strengthen relations with Southeast Asia and India, and enhance cooperation with Japan in economics and trade, technology, and culture to develop commercial opportunities in New Southbound Policy markets and create new, mutually beneficial cooperative models. She also expressed hope that the delegation members give Taiwan even more support after returning to Japan to help Taiwan become a Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) signatory. The president then called on Japan to launch bilateral economic and trade negotiations with Taiwan as soon as possible to consolidate bilateral relations.
President Tsai stated that East Asia is a focal point of global economic development, and Taiwan is duty-bound to help maintain security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan and Japan share fundamental values like democracy and freedom, and the president expressed hope that the two countries will enhance cooperation on security strategy to maintain regional peace and stability.
President Tsai went on to say that as a member of the international community, Taiwan has both the technology and capabilities to contribute to the world. To respond to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Taiwan this year issued its first Voluntary National Review, and will continue to strive to expand its international participation.
President Tsai again thanked the Japanese government for frequently supporting Taiwan's international participation, and said she hoped Japan will continue to support Taiwan so that our country can work with the international community to collectively solve problems. Finally, the president wished her guests a happy new year in advance, and said, "I hope that in the coming year, there will be new progress in Taiwan-Japan relations."
Other visitors included Mrs. Shiori Takinami (Mr. Takinami's wife), as well as House of Councillors members Yumi Yoshikawa, Takashi Koyari, and Kimi Onoda.