A delegation of Japanese lawmakers arrived in Taiwan to build bilateral ties and offer support for Taiwan’s accession to a regional free-trade agreement.
Led by former Japanese minister of foreign affairs Seiji Maehara, the 11-member group includes lawmakers from the Constitutional Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) and the Democratic Party for the People, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The delegation on Monday had meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and other senior officials.
During a meeting at the Presidential Office, Maehara told Tsai that opposition parties in Japan feel strongly about Japan’s relationship with Taiwan and look forward to strengthening it.
Nations with shared values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, should work together to foster a free and open society, which is important for the stability of Northeast Asia, he said.
He also voiced support for Taiwan’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is a member.
Maehara pledged that the members of the delegation would try to facilitate Taiwan’s membership in the trade bloc.
The CPTPP was signed in 2018 by 11 member nations — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
In February 2021, the UK formally requested to join the CPTPP and became the first non-founding state to join the bloc in March, following more than two years of negotiations.
The delegation was also to visit former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party and its presidential candidate, and attend a banquet hosted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Asahi Shimbun reported on June 22.
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