Legislative Vice Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), who is heading a visiting delegation of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials to Japan, said yesterday that relations between Taiwan and Japan are now the warmest ever.
Since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008, there has been a major breakthrough in bilateral ties, Tseng said.
This is evidenced by Taiwan’s establishment of a representative office in Hokkaido and Japan’s passage of new laws to facilitate exhibitions of artworks borrowed from abroad, which pave the way for exhibits from Taiwan’s National Palace Museum to be displayed in Japan, he said.
The government also hopes to sign an open skies agreement with Japan by the end of the year to liberalize commercial aviation services, he added.
The KMT delegation, composed of King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), executive director of Ma’s presidential campaign office, KMT Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) and other party officials is visiting Japan as part of Ma’s election campaign efforts.
Yesterday, the delegation attended a luncheon hosted by 50 members of the Japan-ROC (Republic of China) Diet Members’ Consultative Council — a multi-partisan group of Japanese councilors that includes former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori.
Takeo Hiranuma, chairman of the consultative council who led a delegation to Taiwan for the centennial celebrations, said he would continue to work to enhance relations between the two nations.
The KMT delegation said Hiranuma also expressed the hope that Ma and the KMT would win the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections.
Lee said the delegation discussed with Keiji Furuya, a member of the House of Representatives, and other councilors the issue of exhibiting National Palace Museum artworks in Japan.
The Japanese politicians promised to create a formal organization to handle that issue, Lee said.
Referring to Taiwan’s aid to Japan in the wake of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in March this year, the Japanese councilors said: “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”