DPP chairman returns from ‘constructive’ Japan trip

INSPIRATIONAL:: Su Tseng-chang visited a citizen-funded solar power station, which he said proved nuclear power was not the only option and showed citizens could make a change

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Feb 08, 2013 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) returned home yesterday from a five-day trip to Japan and said he was pleased with the “constructive” visit, which could facilitate closer bilateral exchange.

After meetings with Japanese politicians on the first four days of his trip, Su took an opportunity for a rare “non-political” visit to a citizen-funded power station in Edogawa City, Tokyo, yesterday and found the experience “inspirational.”

Established in 1997, the Edogawa City First Power Station was funded by residents who supported an anti-nuclear campaign. It generates power using solar panels.

Citing the example of the station, which he said was “a small, yet right step toward making changes,” Su underlined the importance of an anti-nuclear awareness among citizens and called for Taiwanese to support a proposed anti-nuclear referendum in New Taipei City (新北市).

Edogawa City is a good example for Taiwanese, who face the same risk as the Japanese as well as people in other countries with nuclear power plants, and shows that nuclear power was not be the only option and citizens could make a change, he said.

Having advocated a nuclear-free homeland initiative for three decades, the DPP shared the views of the residents of Edogawa City and is ready to push for the legislation of an act to promote the initiative in the legislature this year, Su said.

Turning to the primary objective of his trip, Su said he was pleased with the visit during which he met with representatives from major political parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), New Komeito and Your Party, as well as the LDP think tank.

In terms of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) dispute, Su said the DPP delegation “had expressed clearly to its Japanese counterparts that Taiwan claims sovereignty of the islands,” but recognized that both sides have different views on the issue.

However, both sides also recognized the significance of peace and stability in the region, Su said.

The DPP proposed to resolve the most urgent issue of fishing rights as soon as possible through bilateral negotiation, he added.

“We have made the same appeal to all the Japanese politicians we’ve met because the interference of the third party would not be helpful to resolving the dispute and would likely jeopardize the friendship between Taiwan and Japan,” Su said.