Wed, Nov 21, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma seeks to end `anti-Japan' reputation

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

One day before embarking on a three-day visit to Japan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday he intended to obtain a better understanding of Japan and try to change the "anti-Japan" image attributed to him by some media outlets in Japan.

"I am neither anti-Japan nor pro-Japan. I hope that with this visit I can improve my knowledge of Japan and, hopefully, that Japanese will understand me better," Ma said at a press conference in Taipei.

"Some Japanese media like to portray foreign politicians in a pro-Japan or anti-Japan way and have misunderstood me. I'd like to explain my views and give them more information about myself," he said.

Ma has been viewed as anti-Japanese because of his position on Taiwan's sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台).

Ma will begin his three-day visit in Kyoto, followed by Osaka and Tokyo, during which he will meet Japanese leaders, including former prime minister Yoshiro Mori. He will also seek a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

He will also deliver a speech at Kyoto's Doshisha University, initially scheduled for last year but canceled because of a typhoon.

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