President Lee Teng-hui stated today that the Republic of China is a crucial force in maintaining the stability of the Asia-Pacific region, judging from both the subjective and objective factors of its geographical location, national defense, economy and trade. He made the remarks when meeting with Mr. Fukuchi Takeo, former Chief of Staff of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The President indicated that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait has been a great concern of the international community, and that the ROC is confident in and capable of maintaining as well as promoting peace and stability in this region.
Mr. Takeo had served as Chief of Staff of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force since late 1994. Accompanied by ROC Vice Foreign Minister Wu Tzu-dan and Chairman Lin Chin-ching of the Association of East Asian Relations, he and Mrs. Takeo met with President Lee at the Presidential Office this morning. Secretary-General Ding Mou-shih of the National Security Council and Su Chi, Deputy Secretary-General to the President, were also present.
Besides stressing Taiwan's geographical importance, President Lee also reiterated the strong determination of his government and people to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait and stability in the Asian region.
Fully agreeing with President Lee, Mr. Takeo said that from the perspective of defense, the ROC is beyond question an indispensable force in maintaining Asia-Pacific security.
A second-time visitor to this country, Mr. Takeo is currently a consultant to a Japanese financial research institute. He expressed his deep admiration for the ROC's remarkable progress in the areas of politics, economy and national defense during the past decade.