President Tsai Ing-wen met with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi on the morning of July 24. In addition to extending condolences for the recent arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studio, the president also stated that her government will continue working to enhance Taiwan's trade partnership with Japan so that the two countries can make more contributions to the international community.
In remarks, President Tsai began by welcoming Chairman Ohashi as an old friend of Taiwan and noted this was his 14th visit to Taiwan as chairman. His efforts to build up Taiwan-Japan relations—whether by signing cooperative agreements or promoting the changing of the Japan Interchange Association's name to include Taiwan—are very much appreciated.
President Tsai said that the arson attack on Kyoto Animation shocked the world and offered her condolences. The movies produced by Kyoto Animation are quite popular with young people in Taiwan, said the president. She wished for a quick recovery for the injured survivors and expressed hope that the loved ones of the deceased can find solace in their grief.
The president pointed out that Japan has been in the global spotlight recently as the host of the G20 Summit in Osaka in June. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, she said, Japan has successfully carried out a number of important international matters.
President Tsai emphasized that both Japan and Taiwan seek to fulfill their international obligations and contribute more to the world. The president had just finished state visits to Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the Caribbean a few days before, and said Taiwan can collaborate with Japan on cooperative investments to help more countries achieve sustainable development.
Noting that Taiwan will host the annual meeting of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians' Union (APPU) next month, President Tsai said she hopes that members of the Japanese Diet can promote increased exchanges among parliamentarians in Taiwan, Japan, and the nations of the Indo-Pacific region.
The president further stated that in addition to closer cooperation on international affairs, friendly relations between Taiwan and Japan are also being bolstered through commercial and cultural interactions. Just this month, she said, Taiwan amended several tariff regulations to reduce certain tariffs, and some of those tariff reductions will benefit Japanese exports. The people of Taiwan, she added, are avid users of Japanese products in their daily lives.
Looking to the future, said the president, we will continue to enhance our trade partnership with Japan, and will prepare for negotiations on Taiwan's admission to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The president expressed hope that, with the assistance of Chairman Ohashi, these important cooperative undertakings will continue moving forward.
In closing, President Tsai again welcomed Chairman Ohashi to Taiwan and wished Japan peace and prosperity during the Reiwa era of Japan's new emperor Naruhito. She also expressed hope that Taiwan and Japan can maintain a stable friendship, and that the two countries together can make more contributions to the international community.