President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday he hoped that any joint statement issued from a meeting between the top Chinese and Japanese leaders this week would not jeopardize Taiwan’s sovereignty and interests.<
Chen made the remarks at a ceremony on Monday in which he granted the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon to Tokuichiro Tamazawa, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, in recognition of his contributions to relations between the two countries.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) arrived in Tokyo yesterday for a five-day visit and is scheduled to hold a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda today.
Media reports said that the two national leaders would sign a joint statement on managing bilateral ties in the coming years.
Chen told Tamazawa he was glad to see the improvement in relations between Japan and China, as it was also beneficial to regional peace and stability.
However, he expressed the hope that the statement would not include wording that could harm Taiwan’s sovereignty and damage Taiwanese interests.
Chen also said he hoped for deeper trade cooperation between Taiwan and Japan, with Tokyo enjoying a US$30 billion trade surplus.
Chen said he expected Japan to continue to support Taiwan’s quest to gain observer status at the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s highest decision-making body, which will meet from May 19 to May 24 in Geneva.
The president said Tamazawa had made great contributions to boosting bilateral relations, including Tokyo’s granting of visa-free entry service to Taiwanese tourists and reciprocal recognition of drivers’ licenses.
Tamazawa also helped facilitate Japan’s transfer of high speed rail system technology to Taiwan, allowing Taiwan to become one of the six countries in the world to have a high speed rail system, Chen said.
Tamazawa said that Chen’s attention to Taiwan-Japan relations and the efforts made by Taiwan’s current representative to Japan, Ko Se-kai (�?�), and former representative Lo Fu-chen (羅福全), had contributed a lot to progress in bilateral relations during Chen’s eight-year tenure.
Tamazawa told the president that China’ human rights record had provoked world indignation, and Beijing’s progress was being watched closely by the world.
Tamazawa said he would exert greater effort in urging China to make progress in democratization, which affects Taiwan.