Five cooperation pacts with Japan signed in Taipei

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 06, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan and Japan yesterday signed five agreements or memorandums of understanding to enhance bilateral cooperation in e-commerce, patent priority rights, pharmaceutical codes, railway project techniques, and maritime and airborne search and rescue.

The signing ceremony in Taipei was attended by Association of East Asian Relations Chairman Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) and Japan Interchange Association (JIA) Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi.

Both countries have moved rather quickly to “build blocks” along the way to what remains the ultimate goal of concluding a full-fledged economic cooperation agreement between them, Lee said.

The five accords brought the number of bilateral agreements signed since Japan severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1972 to 36, following the landmark fishing rights agreement signed in April.

Ohashi said that the completion of the five agreements not only constituted a step toward intensifying relations, but also strengthened the role of Taiwan in Japan’s policy to seek to engage in countries in economic cooperation through negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and China-Japan-South Korea Free-Trade Agreement.

Accompanied by Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭), Lee told a press conference that the new deals will create a win-win situation for both Taiwan and Japan.

The e-commerce cooperation agreement will greatly benefit local digital content, cultural and creative industries, as well as consumers, he said. Permanent tariff exemption on works distributed in digital forms, such as ebooks, films and music, will be offered, Cho said.

The memorandums of understanding on exchange of electronic documents for establishing the priority of patent rights will accelerate the patent application process by allowing applicants to register with the intellectual property authorities in one country to claim a right or priority in the other country, Lee said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said Japanese annually file more than 10,000 patent applications with Taiwan, while Taiwanese have sought about 3,000 patent applications in Japan.

Officials will also exchange information on medicine security and facilitate cooperation in the medical industry, Lee said.