On the afternoon of September 18 President Tsai Ing-wen met with the Japanese delegation that will attend the memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui. In remarks, the president thanked former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori for leading the delegation and making a special trip to Taiwan again, and for the deep friendship they have shown to former President Lee and Taiwan. She also expressed hope that through our joint efforts, Taiwan and Japan will continue to enhance cooperation in all areas and further strengthen bilateral relations.
The following is a translation of President Tsai's remarks:
Seeing esteemed former Prime Minister Mori again so soon, leading another delegation to take part in a memorial service for former President Lee, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of our old friends, and good friends of Taiwan. Thanks to each and every one of you for the friendship you have shown for former President Lee and for Taiwan.
The last time former Prime Minister Mori, who was not in the best of health, came to express condolences for former President Lee, everyone was quite touched. I also heard that prior to this trip you were not feeling well. But even after all the hustle and bustle of travelling, you still seem full of vigor.
The condolence message you wrote for former President Lee was also quite moving. As you said, the feeling of friendship between you and former President Lee will surely be passed on to the next generation, making the cordial relations between Taiwan and Japan even stronger.
I know that former Prime Minister Mori is most concerned about next year's Tokyo Olympics. I heard that you made a point to bring a Japanese Olympic delegation uniform to Taiwan, so we have also prepared a Taiwan Olympic uniform to offer in exchange here today.
I also want you to know that it is not just the people of Japan who are looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics. The people of Taiwan share that feeling. We hope that next year's Olympic Games will proceed smoothly, and expect to see outstanding performances by athletes from both Taiwan and Japan during the competition.
The day before yesterday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga led the new cabinet to begin their term of office. Over the past few years the friendly partnership between Taiwan and Japan, whether official or private, has seen continuous improvement. In his previous role as chief cabinet secretary, Prime Minister Suga spoke up many times in support of Taiwan's international participation. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I would like to extend my best wishes to Prime Minister Suga and Japan's new cabinet, and my gratitude to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his contributions to deepening Taiwan-Japan ties during his term of office. I believe that through our joint efforts, Taiwan and Japan will continue to enhance cooperation in all areas and further strengthen bilateral relations.
In closing, I want to once again welcome and express thanks to former Prime Minister Mori and all of our distinguished guests. After you return to Japan, I would also like to ask former Prime Minister Mori to convey best regards from Taiwan to former Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Suga.
Former Prime Minister Mori then delivered remarks, saying that after last month's visit, he was very happy to have another chance to visit Taiwan so soon. After visiting last month at former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's request, he said, Mr. Abe once again asked him to lead a delegation to Taiwan to attend former President Lee's memorial service. Yesterday, current Prime Minister Suga also specially requested that he convey his best wishes to President Tsai and Taiwanese from all walks of life, and expressed hope that bilateral interaction and exchanges will proceed smoothly.
Former Prime Minister Mori went on to say that Taiwan and Japan share universal values such as freedom and democracy, and have the same ideals. He also expressed the sincere hope that both countries can continue to deepen cooperation in all areas, a goal that he and the delegation members, along with the Japanese government, will work together to promote and facilitate.
Also included in the delegation were Chairman Keiji Furuya of the Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council, House of Representatives Member Karen Makishima, President Yasuaki Tanizaki of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office Chief Representative Hiroyasu Izumi. The visitors were accompanied to the Presidential Office by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Taiwan-Japan Relations Association President Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) to meet President Tsai. Also attending the meeting was Secretary-General to the President David T. Lee (李大維).