Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday handed over NT$24.45 million (US$774,286) donated by Taiwanese to Japan to be used in recovery efforts after an earthquake hit Kyushu Island on April 16.
Su, leading a 23-member legislative delegation on a visit to Japan, presented the money to Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of Japan’s Interchange Association, which handles bilateral exchanges between Taiwan and Japan in the absence of diplomatic relations.
The donations were made to an account opened by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Su said.
He said he hopes the funds help ongoing earthquake recovery efforts in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Taiwan and Japan have maintained a close relationship and have helped each other in times of difficulty, Su said.
Japan offered extensive support and assistance to Taiwan in the wake of a series of gas explosions in Kaohsiung in 2014, a deadly flash fire at a New Taipei City water park last year and a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in February in Tainan, Su said.
Ohashi thanked Taiwanese and said many Japanese remember the support and help offered by Taiwan after a magnitude 9 earthquake devastated northeastern Japan in 2011.
He said Taiwanese tourists are invited to visit Kumamoto to help boost its tourism.
Ohashi also said he hopes relations between Taiwan and Japan continue to grow and serve as a model to the international community.
Following the handover, Ohashi hosted a luncheon for the Taiwanese delegation.
The delegation was later scheduled to meet with Hiroyuki Hosoda, acting secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Yukio Edano, secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, and visit the Tokyo National Museum.
Today, the delegation is to meet with Nobuo Kishi, a Japanese parliamentarian who is the brother of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and head of a group of young Japanese lawmakers.
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