On the morning of October 1, President Tsai Ing-wen presented Mikio Numata, Chief Representative of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office, with the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon in recognition of his outstanding contributions to enhancing Taiwan-Japan relations.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that she was sad to learn that Chief Representative Numata is preparing to complete his assignment in Taiwan and return to Japan. Chief Representative Numata assumed his position here in 2014, the president said, more than five years ago, and is Japan's longest-serving Chief Representative in Taiwan in the past 20 years. He has made outstanding contributions to enhancing Taiwan-Japan relations and forged many deep friendships with people in all walks of life in our country. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, the president offered her sincere thanks to Chief Representative Numata.
President Tsai pointed out that during his time in Taiwan, Chief Representative Numata has actively worked to promote Taiwan-Japan relations, and has accomplished a lot. For example, he promoted the name change of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association and the establishment of the Taiwan-Japan Maritime Affairs Cooperation Dialogue Mechanism, and oversaw the signing of 20 different bilateral cooperation agreements. These accomplishments have had a critical impact on the development of substantive bilateral relations between Taiwan and Japan.
At the same time, the president further stated, Chief Representative Numata has also spoken out strongly in support of Taiwan's participation in international organizations, and defended Taiwan's international presence. In particular, at a time when China has continually used a wide range of tactics to suppress Taiwan, he has truly moved us by supporting and speaking out on Taiwan's behalf.
President Tsai mentioned that this past March, Taiwan, the United States, and Japan jointly held the "2019 Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) International Workshop on Anti-Corruption in Public and Private Sectors" in Taiwan, a historic accomplishment. Chief Representative Numata spent three years working to bring about the Workshop, said the president. She expressed her sincere thanks once again to the chief representative for his active efforts to promote regional cooperation and raise Taiwan's international profile.
The president stated that by conferring the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon upon Chief Representative Numata, she wanted to highlight the outstanding contributions he has made to help enhance Taiwan-Japan relations. "This decoration also conveys the gratitude of the government and people of Taiwan," she said. In closing, the president expressed hope that Taiwan and Japan will continue working hand-in-hand to promote regional cooperation and prosperity. She also wished Chief Representative Numata great success, and said that he will always be Taiwan's most steadfast partner, and is welcome to come back to Taiwan often.
After receiving the decoration, Chief Representative Numata also delivered remarks. He thanked President Tsai for taking time out of her busy schedule to personally present him with the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon, and said he was deeply honored. He was able to receive this award, he said, thanks to support from Taiwanese in all walks of life, and from his colleagues at the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office.
His mission during his five years and three months in Taiwan, Chief Representative Numata said, was to advance and strengthen Taiwan-Japan relations. His responsibilities were heavy and there were still many things he would like to promote. But he believes that his successor and colleagues will continue to cooperate closely with Taiwan.
Among those in attendance at the ceremony were National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), National Security Council Advisor Lin Cheng-wei (林成蔚), Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉), and Taiwan-Japan Relations Association President Chiou I-jen (邱義仁).