Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ma praises Japan relations during delegation meeting

Staff writer, with CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday touted warming relations between Taiwan and Japan in recent years during a meeting with a Japanese delegation led by Legislator Takao Fujii.

Over the past five years, Taiwan and Japan have signed a working holiday deal, an open skies agreement, an investment pact and a fishing rights agreement, and have resumed direct flights between Taipei International Airport (Songshan) and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Ma said.

Tourist visits between the two countries have also risen from 2.5 million in 2008 to 2.99 million last year, with the figures expected to exceed 3 million this year, he said.

Bilateral ties are at their best and most stable since Taiwan and Japan broke off diplomatic relations in 1972, Ma said.

Meanwhile, the president expressed hope that Taiwan will be able to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which already involve Japan.

He also congratulated Japan on winning its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

During his meeting with the delegation, Ma also asked if a Japanese shutdown of its nuclear reactors will affect its power supply or electricity prices and expressed hope that Taiwan and Japan can step up cooperation on nuclear safety and disaster prevention.

Japan closed its last operating nuclear reactor on Monday, with no plans to restart any plants.

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