During a meeting on the morning of August 24 with President Yasuaki Tanizaki of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that Taiwan is fully dedicated to its exchanges with Japan, and regional peace and prosperity. She also expressed hope that Taiwan would soon be able to participate in all types of regional economic integration, and that the two sides could speed up the progress of Taiwan-Japan economic cooperation negotiations to enhance bilateral economic and trade relations.
In remarks, President Tsai first welcomed President Tanizaki to Taiwan, and then stated that Taiwan is currently hosting the Universiade, which shows that Taiwan is enthusiastic and sincere in welcoming the global community. "I wonder whether the president plans to go see any events?" she asked. She expressed her belief that in the process of this visit to Taiwan, President Tanizaki would feel Taiwan's warmth and friendship toward Japan.
President Tsai pointed out that this year the Interchange Association changed its name to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, while on Taiwan's side, the Association of East Asian Relations changed its name to the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association. The name change says that both sides see the importance of their counterpart. In addition, in March of this year Japan sent then-State Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Jiro Akama—the highest-ranked official representative to visit Taiwan since 1972—to participate in various activities. These changes in the overall atmosphere indicate that Taiwan-Japan relations have entered a new stage.
The president stated that this new stage will offer even more new possibilities. Last year, there were more than six million visits between Japan and Taiwan, a new historic high. In order to enable visitors from Japan to have sufficient time to experience Taiwan's culture and lifestyle, Taiwan is preparing to allow Japanese visitors to Taiwan to stay longer.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan has already given notice that it will permit imports of Japanese wagyu beef. Starting next year, Taiwan will export a large volume of "Golden Diamond" pineapples to Japan. This mutual exchange of premium agricultural and livestock products between the two countries is a direction in which we can continue to strive.
The president emphasized that Taiwan is fully dedicated to its exchanges with Japan, and regional peace and prosperity. We also hope, she said, that we can soon participate in all types of regional economic integration including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as speed up the progress of Taiwan-Japan economic cooperation negotiations to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations.
The president stated that Japan has recently voiced support for Taiwan many times internationally, while Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga directly represented the Japanese government in expressing support for Taiwan's participation in international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Assembly. All Taiwanese are touched by such support from Japan, said the president, who took the opportunity to again express Taiwan's gratitude.
President Tsai noted that President Tanizaki, having previously served as Japan's ambassador to Vietnam and Indonesia, is very familiar with Southeast Asian affairs. Taiwan is currently promoting the New Southbound Policy, so she looks forward to industry, government, and academia from the two countries finding even more areas of cooperation with respect to the ASEAN and South Asian markets, and in the future, she will continue to seek help and advice from President Tanizaki.
Finally, President Tsai expressed confidence that under the leadership of President Tanizaki the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association could definitely create even closer Taiwan-Japan relations, and she expressed her best wishes that President Tanizaki would have a productive visit to Taiwan.