Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday sent her regards to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and expressed the hope for closer ties between Tokyo and Taiwan at the opening of a Taiwanese culture festival.
The two-day Taiwan Plus festival opened at Tokyo’s Ueno Park on Saturday morning. Koike did not attend the opening ceremony in person due to a scheduling conflict and a statement she prepared was read at the event instead.
In the statement, Koike thanked the organizers of the event promoting Taiwanese culture and sent her best wishes to Tsai and Taiwan.
Photo: Lin Tsuei-yi, Taipei Times
Koike previously attended the event three years ago.
Japanese lawmaker Keiji Furuya, who chairs the Japan-Republic of China Diet Members’ Consultative Council, was among the attendees at the opening ceremony.
Furuya said the event provided an opportunity for Japanese to gain a better understanding of Taiwan, adding that he looks forward to seeing more people traveling between Taiwan and Japan as COVID-19 border restrictions are gradually lifted in both countries.
Furuya, who visited Taipei last month, also announced that he would lead a 20-member legislative delegation to Taiwan to attend Double Ten National Day celebrations on Oct. 10.
Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said Japan has supported Taiwan during the challenges the nation faced at international forums.
He hopes Taiwan Plus, the largest Taiwanese culture festival in Japan, would further bolster bilateral exchanges, he said.
The event’s main organizer, the General Association of Chinese Culture, said it first held the festival in Tokyo in 2018 with the aim of making it an annual event, but had to cancel it in 2020 and last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s festival featured more than 70 booths selling Taiwanese foods and designer products, as well as games commonly seen in Taiwanese night markets, it said.
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