Japan fully supports Taiwan joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, but Taiwan’s ban on the import of certain Japanese foods is like a “fish bone stuck in one’s throat,” Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council Chairman Keiji Furuya told reporters in Taipei yesterday.
Furuya made the remarks during a brief meeting with Taiwanese and Japanese reporters after he gave a speech at the Yushan Forum at the Grand Hyatt Taipei.
Since Japan and the Republic of China cut diplomatic ties in 1972, the relations between lawmakers from the two sides have become more important, and many Japanese lawmakers are eager to promote bilateral relations, he said.
Furuya led a delegation of more than 20 councilors across party lines to join Double Ten National Day celebrations in Taipei, even though the Japanese parliament is in session, showing that they highly value bilateral relations, he added.
They would also join today’s National Day parade for the first time, along with nearly 50 Japanese students, he said.
He also welcomed Taiwanese to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Japan supports Taiwan’s bid to join the pact, as its economy is strong, and it is a member of the WTO and APEC, Furuya said when asked by a Taiwanese reporter to comment on the issue.
Asked to comment on Taiwan’s ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, he said that Japan regrets the voting results of a referendum on whether to lift the ban held in Taiwan last year.
Japanese have proved with scientific evidence that food products produced in those areas are safe, he said.
Furuya also expressed concern about China’s increasing presence in the Pacific region, saying that Beijing has been using its overwhelming economic power to lure certain Pacific nations, such as Solomon Islands and Kiribati, which cut diplomatic ties with Taipei last month.
A three-yearly summit to be held in Japan next year is to focus on how to improve security in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.
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