Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe called for closer Japan-Taiwan ties by overcoming diplomatic and professional barriers in his first videoconference with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday night.
Tsai said there are many opportunities for the two nations to collaborate, as Taiwan strives for common goals with like-minded countries such as Japan and the US.
The two also discussed the situation in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific region.
Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office via CNA
The Presidential Office said the bilateral talk last nearly 30 minutes and was part of an annual meeting of the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, a cross-party Japanese parliamentary group comprising about 270 members.
At the beginning of their discussion, a full video of which was released by the Presidential Office yesterday, Tsai said she was delighted to meet with Abe virtually as they used to only talk by telephone.
The president thanked Japan for donating vaccines to Taiwan last year during a local outbreak of COVID-19.
Abe thanked Taiwan for its help after a massive earthquake struck Japan on March 11, 2011, and for donating medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tsai said that Taiwan had followed the lead of other countries in allowing the importation of food products banned following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, showing its determination to remove trade barriers between the two countries.
Taiwan and Japan should join hands to bolster the economic power of the Indo-Pacific region, as economic growth is crucial to a nation’s stability, she added.
Regarding Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Abe said he hoped that Taiwan would meet its high standards and join the bloc soon.
The CPTPP was established by Japan with 10 other countries when Abe was prime minister and is expanding by adding new members.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Tsai said that Taiwan had imposed sanctions against Russia and provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine, adding that Taiwan would stand side-by-side with Ukraine, and uphold the values of democracy and freedom.
Abe said Russia’s invasion was a serious challenge to the international order, adding that Japan should cooperate with other countries in pressuring Moscow into a ceasefire and withdrawal.
Echoing Abe’s comments, Tsai condemned Russia for unilaterally changing the “status quo” and infringing on the rights of a democratic country, which must not be allowed in the Indo-Pacific region.
Tsai also thanked Japan for emphasizing the importance of stability across the Taiwan Strait at international events, saying that she hoped the two sides can maintain peace in the region.
Abe advocated for a free and open Indo-Pacific region, whose “status quo” is protected by international law and not altered by military force.
“It is important for Japan and Taiwan to share intelligence to keep the region stable,” Abe said.
Abe expressed his hope to visit Taiwan soon to exchange ideas with the president, who said she looked forward to greeting him in person.
Additional reporting by CNA
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the
NOT JUST CHIPS: Although semiconductor processes are on the list, it also includes military technology and post-quantum cryptography to combat emerging cyberthreats The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging. For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk. For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through