DPP chief heading to Tokyo next week

ISLAND DISPUTE::The party reiterated its position that the Diaoyutais belong to Taiwan and that the issue should be resolved through diplomatic negotiations

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jan 29, 2013 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is scheduled to visit Tokyo next week, where he will meet Japanese politicians to discuss a wide range of issues, including the dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), the party announced yesterday.

Su, who will be visiting Japan for the first time since taking the party helm in May last year, is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs, told a press conference. He will return to Taiwan the following Thursday.

The trip aims to promote democratic values shares by Taiwan and Japan, strengthen bilateral trade and ensure regional stability, Liu said.

Former representative to Japan Koh Se-kai (許世楷), who currently serves as the party’s international affairs consultant, Liu and Lin Wan-i (林萬億), executive director of the DPP’s think tank, will join Su. The delegation will also include DPP lawmakers Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Chen Ming-wen (陳明文), Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤).

The delegation will meet members of the Japanese Diet’s upper and lower houses and politicians from major political parties, inclduing the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Japan Restoration Party, Liu said.

Also on the itinerary are a visit to the LDP’s think tank and meetings with Taiwanese expatriate groups in Japan.

Responding to a media inquiry, Liu said the dispute over the Diaoyutais was expected to raised by both sides during the visit.

Liu reiterated that the DPP’s position toward the East China Sea dispute has been consistent.

“We’ve maintained that the sovereignty of the Diaoyutais belongs to Taiwan and the dispute should be resolved by diplomatic negotiations. We call for all parties involved to remain calm and we pledge that Taiwan will never collaborate with China in dealing with the Diaoyutais controversy,” Liu said.

He added that the visit had been due to take place earlier in the month, but had been postponed due to the Fury (火大) rally on Jan. 13 and the legislative by-election in Greater Taichung on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Liu said the party regretted that a photograph published by the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday, showing Su meeting a US congressional delegation led by US House Foreign Affairs Chairman Representative Ed Royce on a high speed train traveling from Taipei to Greater Kaohsiung on Sunday, had been leaked to the press.

Liu said the DPP and the US congressmen had exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral issue in the hour-long meeting on the train and had agreed not to make the news public before the delegation left Taiwan.

The person who leaked the photograph could be a government official, because several had accompanied the delegation on Sunday, Liu said.

Su is scheduled to visit Washington in May or June for the establishment of the party’s US representative office.

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