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President Chen Receives Japanese Lower House Member Shingo Nishimura

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) Republic of China President Chen Shui-bian Thursday expressed his hope that substantive relations between Taiwan and Japan will be further strengthened.

He made the remarks while receiving Japanese Lower House member Shingo Nishimura of the Liberal Party. Chen told Nishimura that the ROC and Japan share common values of universal democracy and human rights, are greatly concerned with maintaining the security of the Asia-Pacific region, and have close bilateral economic and trade relations.

Because of these, he noted that "both countries still have plenty of space to improve bilateral relations." During the reception, Chen extended an invitation for Liberal Party chief Ichiro Ozawa to visit Taiwan at an appropriate time. Ozawa is a staunch supporter of the ROC.

The president also expressed his appreciation to Nishimura for writing an article in the December issue of "Japan Political Commentary," in which he affirmed former President Lee Teng-hui's contributions to Taiwan's democratization and economic development.

Nishimura said that Japan and Taiwan "should establish a bridge of communications" to enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation. He said he expects the two countries' substantive relations to improve further.

The lawmaker visited the president at the Presidential Office and was accompanied by Lin Chin-ching, chairman of the Association for East Asian Relations. National Security Council Secretary-General Chuang Ming-yao was also present at the reception. 

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