Japan fully supports Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer, as Taiwan and Taiwanese are Japan’s sincere friends, visiting Japanese lawmaker Norikazu Suzuki said yesterday.
Suzuki, who is leading a delegation comprising lawmakers and staff from the Liberal Democratic Party Youth Division to Taiwan, made the remark during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
Security across the Taiwan Strait, and peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region are closely linked to the national interests of Taiwan and Japan, he said.
The ideals of democratic system and the rule of law must be adhered to, and any attempt to unilaterally change the “status quo” must not be tolerated, which are the messages that Taiwan and Japan should send to the world, he added.
He said ahead of his trip that the stance is the consensus in Japan and would not change.
Suzuki yesterday told Tsai that the division, which he leads, fully supports efforts to safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, as underscored in the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting last month.
He said he appreciated the government’s decision in February last year to lift a ban on food products from five Japanese prefectures put in place after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.
Suzuki called on the government to remove the remaining bans on a few items.
The Japanese government welcomes Taiwan’s participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, as it is beneficial to stability, the economy and development in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.
While the negotiations to join the trade bloc present numerous challenges, the division would do its best to help Taiwan’s bid, he added.
Taiwan can share its valuable experience and knowledge in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why Japan fully supports its participation in the WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, later this month, Suzuki said.
The division would also promote exchanges between young people in Japan and Taiwan, and partnership between the two nations, he said.
Suzuki later attended a luncheon hosted by Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and met with Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), where he reiterated Japan’s support for Taiwan and the division’s hope to deepen ties and exchanges with the nation.
Separately, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Slovak National Council on Wednesday passed a resolution supporting Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer, as well as in meetings and activities of the WHO.
Excluding Taiwan, a responsible, reliable and important member of the international community, from the WHA would be a serious loss of professional knowledge, the resolution says.
Taiwan has shown the world its strong commitment to health by providing much-needed medical aid to war-torn Ukraine, it says.
As an example in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has the medical technology and resources that are critical to advancing global health, it says.
In addition, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam Director-General Paul Chen (陳盈連) called on the international community to support Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer in an article published on the Pacific Island Times yesterday.
Guam legislators in March passed a resolution supporting Taiwan’s observer status at international organizations, including the WHO, Chen said in the article.
Taiwan “is committed to building a more resilient and equitable health service supply chain,” he said, adding that Taiwan “is willing and able” to help promote health and well-being around the globe.
Additional reporting by CNA
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