Fri, Mar 26, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Japanese lawmaker urges mutually beneficial links


Taiwan and Japan have a close relationship and they must seek a common strategy that will benefit both countries, a visiting Japanese lawmaker said yesterday.

Takao Fujii, who is also a key member of a pro-Taiwan parliamentary group, made the remarks when he attended the 31st Taiwan-Japan seminar on China in Taipei.

The two-day seminar sponsored by National Chengchi University's Institute of International Relations centered on "the situation of the mainland and East Asia in 2004."

More than 100 academics and experts, including more than 20 Japanese delegates led by Kunihiko Takano, president of the Association of Mainland Chinese Affairs, attended the seminar.

Fujii said that the people of Taiwan and Japan make more than 1.5 million visits to each other's country every year and that Japan enjoys a trade surplus of US$20 billion with Taiwan every year.

In addition, Japan relies heavily on safe passage through the Taiwan Strait, which is the lifeline of Japan's economy at sea, so that cross-strait political stability is the best security for Japan.

He said that in the geopolitical sense, Japan and Taiwan have very close relations, and they should jointly seek a strategy that will benefit both countries. Japan should also work harder to help Taiwan's bid to join international organizations.

He also said that when thinking about future Taiwan-Japan relations, both sides should not pursue a quick result.

Rather, he said, they should consider the other side as an important neighbor and improve bilateral understanding.

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