Sun, Jun 08, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Annette Lu to travel to Japan for women’s forum

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) will travel to Tokyo this week to attend a forum marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of BPW Japan, the Japanese chapter of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women.

Because of Beijing’s diplomatic suppression of Taiwan, Lu was unable to visit Japan during her two four-year terms in office.

Lu is scheduled to depart for Tokyo on Wednesday, where she will attend a forum on June 14 on gender mainstreaming.

“I have been invited to deliver a report at the forum on the status of Taiwanese women and their future,” she said on Friday.

“Now that I have retired from public service, I don’t think that Beijing would take any steps to block my travel plans,” she said in answer to a question on whether she has faced any pressure from Beijing in arranging her Japan trip.

During her visit, Lu said she would also meet with Japanese Diet members, politicians, major women’s groups leaders and Taiwanese community representatives.

An outspoken advocate of Taiwan’s separate identity from China, Lu said she is worried about what she described as a gradual dilution of Taiwan’s sovereign status since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which has adopted a more China-friendly policy, took over the reins of the government from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on May 20.

Lu said she was saddened to see many senior KMT officials avoid mentioning Taiwan’s official title once they set foot in China.

On DPP affairs, Lu said she has reminded new DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to lead the party to join more public-interest activities to regain public trust.

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