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President Tsai meets Japanese House of Representatives Member Akihisa Nagashima, former Senior Vice Minister of Defense
President Tsai meets Japanese House of Representatives Member Akihisa Nagashima, former Senior Vice Minister of Defense

President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by former Japanese Senior Vice Minister of Defense and current House of Representatives Member Akihisa Nagashima on the morning of April 30. She thanked Representative Nagashima for his friendship and the importance he has attached to Taiwan over the years, and expressed hope that Japan can offer Taiwan the assistance we need most by supporting our inclusion in the second round of negotiations for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and continue to bolster our cooperative bilateral relationship.

President Tsai began by welcoming her guests to the Office of the President, and expressed delight at having the opportunity to meet with Representative Nagashima once again. Representative Nagashima has paid close attention to Taiwan-Japan relations for many years, and visits Taiwan often. She stated that this appears to be his 16th visit to Taiwan, which shows the strength of his friendship with Taiwan, as well as how much he values our country. She offered a sincere welcome to Representative Nagashima and all of the delegation members.

Representative Nagashima has always been a staunch supporter of Taiwan, the president pointed out, and is currently the Vice Chairman of the Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council (the Consultative Council). Last year, the Consultative Council passed a resolution supporting Taiwan's participation in international organizations, protesting China's forcing airlines to change Taiwan's designation, and condemning China's poaching of Taiwan's diplomatic allies. She offered her sincerest gratitude on behalf of the Taiwanese people.

The resolution also stated that China should not use improper means to threaten the region, the president continued. In the future, she said, we hope to safeguard regional stability together with Japan, based on our shared values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

The president stated that Taiwan and Japan maintain close economic and trade relations, and that the number of tourists traveling between our countries is very high. Many of Taiwan's agriculture and fisheries products are very popular in Japan as well, she said.

At last year's Taiwan-Japan Economic and Trade Meeting, she said, we signed a number of important cooperation agreements, and she expressed confidence that we can engage in even more diverse economic cooperation in the future.

In order to continue to enhance our cooperative relationship, President Tsai expressed her sincere hope that our friends in Japan can offer Taiwan the assistance we need most by supporting our inclusion in the second round of CPTPP negotiations. Japan is the most crucial and influential economy within the current CPTPP framework, and if the Japanese government would lend us their strong support, it would greatly help Taiwan's bid to participate, and would be particularly meaningful to us.

The president emphasized that both Taiwan and Japan play crucial roles in the Indo-Pacific strategy. China's actions in the East China Sea are increasing in frequency, and she expressed hope that we can work together with Japan to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

The president mentioned that Taiwan's active participation in and responsible attitude towards the international community are quite clear, and we hope to be able to participate more fully in important international organizations, so that we can honor our international responsibilities and contribute to the international community.

Finally, the president stated that we will continue to work together with Japan in the future to further enhance friendly Taiwan-Japan relations, and she expressed hope that Representative Nagashima and our friends in the Consultative Council will continue to speak up for Taiwan, and lend Taiwan their full support. She welcomed the delegation once again to Taiwan, and looked forward to further exchanges and cooperation.

Guests included Yasutomo Suzuki, Mayor of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan; Mikio Numata, Taipei Office Chief Representative of the Association of Taiwan-Japan Relations; and Japanese House of Representatives Members Hirofumi Ryu, Toshitaka Ooka, and Shigeki Kobayashi.

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