President Tsai Ing-wen received Japanese House of Representatives Member Katsuyuki Kawai on the morning of January 17. In comments regarding food exports to Taiwan from the five prefectures in Japan affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011, President Tsai reiterated that Taiwan will maintain communications with the Japanese government in line with the spirit of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to find a mutually acceptable solution. She also called on the Japanese government to continue supporting Taiwan's admission to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
In remarks, President Tsai said she was happy to once again meet with Mr. Kawai. She also thanked Mr. Kawai for visiting Taiwan prior to the start of the upcoming legislative session, and extended a warm welcome. The president noted that Mr. Kawai has a long-standing interest in international and diplomatic issues, and said she hopes to work with Mr. Kawai to continue strengthening Taiwan-Japan relations.
President Tsai noted that many people in Japan will no doubt be very concerned about how Taiwan will handle the results of the referendum late last year on the import of foods from the five prefectures in Japan affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident. She stated that Taiwan will maintain communications with the Japanese government in line with the spirit of the WTO to find a mutually acceptable solution. However, we hope that this single issue will not affect the overall development of Taiwan-Japan relations, she said.
President Tsai emphasized that to further enhance the bilateral cooperative relationship, she sincerely hopes our friends in Japan will continue supporting Taiwan's admission to the CPTPP. Noting that Japan is one of the CPTPP's most influential economic entities, she said the Japanese government's support is particularly significant to Taiwan.
Finally, President Tsai mentioned that friends throughout Japanese society have long spoken up for Taiwan at many important international venues. The first CPTPP ministerial meeting since the agreement entered into force will be held on January 19 in Tokyo, and she said that the government of Taiwan has repeatedly indicated its willingness to join the CPTPP. In particular, Taiwan hopes to take part in the second round of negotiations.