President Tsai Ing-wen met with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi on the morning of January 12. She mentioned that in yesterday's presidential election, the people of Taiwan showed the world their determination to defend our nation's sovereignty and protect our democracy and freedom. In the new year, the president stated, we hope to see even more exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and Japan in business, trade, culture, and sports so that Taiwan-Japan relations will reach new heights.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
I would like to thank Chairman Ohashi for once again leading a delegation to Taiwan. I also want to thank you for your congratulations on yesterday's presidential election results, and expressing condolences for the loss of Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) in the line of duty.
We just met last month and I am delighted to meet you at the Presidential Office again today, the day after our general election. Your visit to Taiwan reflects the deep friendship between Taiwan and Japan, and I want to thank you for the support you have given us.
In yesterday's presidential election, the people of Taiwan showed the world their determination to defend our nation's sovereignty and protect our democracy and freedom. In the future, Taiwan will continue to be democracy's first line of defense, actively cooperate with other like-minded countries, and continue our efforts to deepen democracy.
As a responsible member of the international community, for over three years, Taiwan has handled cross-strait relations by refusing to bow to pressure, and refraining from provocation or rash behavior, devoting our efforts to maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. In the future, we will continue to take this same approach and strengthen our partnerships with other nations in the region so that together, we can promote regional prosperity and development.
For Taiwan, Japan is a vital ally in terms of both diplomatic cooperation and tourism exchanges. Last year, the number of Japanese traveling to Taiwan topped two million, a new historical high, and we are seeing more frequent Taiwan-Japan exchanges in both the public and private sectors.
In the new year, we hope to see even more exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and Japan in business, trade, culture, and sports. With Chairman Ohashi's support, I am sure that Taiwan-Japan relations will reach new heights.
This will be also be an important year for Japan, as the world's most prominent sporting event—the Olympics—will be held in Tokyo. So I want to take this opportunity to wish you a smooth and successful event.
In closing, let me once again offer a warm welcome to Chairman Ohashi and the members of the delegation. In the new year, let's all continue to work together to deepen the relationship between Taiwan and Japan. Thank you.
In remarks delivered earlier, Chairman Ohashi expressed condolences for the eight armed forces personnel, including Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming, who sadly lost their lives in the line of duty at the beginning of the year. The chairman also expressed best wishes for the speedy recovery of the injured servicemen who survived the crash.
Commenting on the presidential election results, Chairman Ohashi said that in this election President Tsai garnered over 8.17 million votes, more than any other winner in history. President Tsai will begin her second term at the end of May, he said, and over the next four years—a critical period for Taiwan—he hopes the president will take care of her health. This is not just for the sake of Taiwan, but for all of Asia, and even global development, and he also hopes the president will continue to demonstrate her high-level leadership skills.
The Democratic Progressive Party also won a majority of legislative seats, Chairman Ohashi said, which he believes will give the president's policy implementation efforts a major boost during her second term, making it comparatively easier to implement her own policy ideas and lead Taiwan forward. Chairman Ohashi then reiterated his sincere congratulations on the election results.
The election results came out yesterday, Chairman Ohashi said, so he wanted to personally congratulate President Tsai this morning, and she found time in her busy schedule to meet with him. This is the best testament to the importance that Taiwan attaches to its relationship with Japan, he said, and then thanked President Tsai on Japan's behalf.
Also present at the meeting was Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office Chief Representative Hiroyasu Izumi.