A delegation from the Youth Division of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is arriving in Taiwan tomorrow on a five-day trip that includes a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and a visit to the grave of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to pay their respects.
The 11-person delegation, led by division head Masanobu Ogura, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives for Tokyo’s 23rd District, are also to meet with other senior government officials before they leave on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
In addition to paying their respects at Lee’s grave in a New Taipei City military cemetery, the group is to visit Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu, it said.
Photo: Lin Tsuei-yi, Taipei Times
Lee, Taiwan’s first popularly elected president, died at the age of 97 in July 2020. He had received a Japanese education and was a highly respected figure in Japan.
Ogura, who was appointed head of the Youth Division in September last year, is friendly toward Taiwan, the ministry said.
The Youth Division, comprised of younger lawmakers in Japan’s National Diet, has long been an important Taiwan-Japan platform and sends annual delegations to Taiwan to exchange views on issues of mutual interest.
Many previous division heads went on to serve in high government positions, such as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, the ministry said.
The delegation includes Diet members Norikazu Suzuki, Hayato Suzuki, Susumu Yamaguchi and Daisuke Nishino, it added.
In other news, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Taiwan’s new top envoy to South Korea is a highly qualified legal expert with extensive experience in Asia-Pacific affairs.
The statement was issued after a South Korean newspaper questioned Taiwan’s choice of Liang Kuang-chung (梁光中), head of the ministry’s legal department, as the new representative to Seoul.
Liang is to replace Tang Diann-wen (唐殿文), who served as head of the Taipei Mission in Korea since September 2018.
Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) on Thursday said that Liang was an appropriate choice to be Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to South Korea because of his considerable experience in the region, adding that Liang would promote even closer ties with Seoul.
Liang has been head of the ministry’s Department of Treaty and Legal Affairs since October 2018, an ambassador-level post qualifying him to head representative offices and embassies, a source said.
Liang and Tang are arranging the transition, but no date has been announced, Ou added.
An article on Tuesday in the Chosun Ilbo said Taipei was downgrading South Korean ties by choosing Liang, whose last overseas post was as head of the representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, a position at the consul-general level.
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