The widow of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is to visit Taiwan this week to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and visit a Kaohsiung temple that houses a life-size bronze statue commemorating her late husband.
Akie Abe, who was invited by the Taiwan Friends of Shinzo Abe Association, is scheduled to arrive today accompanied by Japanese lawmaker Eriko Yamatani and others, the Sankei Shimbun reported.
The Taipei-based association was founded last year to promote closer Taiwan-Japan exchanges.
Photo: Kyodo News via AP
Upon her arrival today, Akie Abe is to meet with former minister of foreign affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), head of the association, and visit Japanese recipients of scholarships awarded by the association to study in Taiwan, the newspaper said.
Tomorrow she is to travel to Fongshan District (鳳山) in Kaohsiung to Hongmaogang’s (紅毛港) Baoan Temple (保安堂), where a bronze statue of her late husband was erected.
The temple unveiled the statue in September last year to commemorate the late Japanese leader, who was assassinated during a campaign rally in Japan in July last year.
Akie Abe is also to visit an art gallery in Tainan that is putting on a photo exhibition about her late husband tomorrow.
On Wednesday morning, she is to visit former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) grave at a New Taipei City military cemetery to pay her respects to Lee, who died in July 2020.
Then she is to head to the Presidential Office in Taipei to meet with Tsai and Vice President William Lai (賴清德) in the afternoon before concluding the four-day trip on Thursday, the newspaper said.
Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, died on July 8 last year at the age of 67, hours after he was shot twice by a man with a makeshift shotgun on the streets of Nara during an election rally.
He served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020.
Shinzo Abe has been seen in some quarters in Taiwan, especially by supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party, as a staunch backer of Taiwan, partly because he said that “a Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency.”
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