President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Hiroyuki Onishi, a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member of the Japanese House of Representatives on the morning of October 2. She expressed hope that her guests will support Taiwan's inclusion in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) so that we can contribute to regional economic and trade integration. We will also continue working together with friends in Japan to further enhance our friendly bilateral relations, the president said.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
I want to welcome our guests to the Presidential Office for in-depth exchanges. All of our visitors today are members of Japan's House of Representatives from the Osaka area, one of the favorite destinations in Japan for tourists from Taiwan. Last year, Japan took in a total of 4.83 million tourist arrivals from Taiwan, which was an all-time high.
We also welcome Japanese tourists to Taiwan, so I hope that our guests will do all you can back in Japan to promote Taiwan and encourage your supporters to visit our country. This would further expand people-to-people ties between our two nations. During these coming few days in Taiwan, I am sure that the delegation will discover the warm, friendly nature of our people, and the rich diversity of our culture. For example, in addition to Taiwan's own traditional cooking, we also have cuisines from all over the world, including Japanese restaurants just about everywhere. I believe that you will all get a feel for the close cultural ties between Taiwan and Japan.
Taiwan and Japan are important partners with a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, freedom, and human rights. And the non-partisan Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council has passed two resolutions this year to express support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization. We thank the Council, and look forward to cooperating even more closely with Japan across the board.
The LDP's Youth Division also comes to Taiwan every year. This past August Hajime Sasaki, who was then the director of the LDP Youth Division, led an 83-person delegation to Taiwan, which shows the importance that the LDP attaches to exchanges between Taiwan and Japan.
Taiwan and Japan are each other's fourth- and third-largest trading partners, respectively, and I do believe that, with the support of our friends in Japan's House of Representatives, we can continue to deepen our economic and trade cooperation. To respond to recent changes in the global economy and international trade conditions, now would be a perfect time for Taiwan and Japan to begin discussing Taiwan's inclusion in the CPTPP. This would also help Japan's effort to balance and expand its overseas markets. I hope that you will all support our participation in the CPTPP so that Taiwan can contribute to regional economic and trade integration.
So once again, let me welcome you to Taiwan. In the future, Taiwan will continue working together with friends in Japan to further enhance our friendly bilateral relations. I wish you a fruitful visit, and welcome you to come back often.
Also included in the delegation were Japanese House of Representatives Members Shohei Okashita, Kazuhide Okuma, and Kouichi Munekiyo.