Taiwan and Japan are working together to safeguard peace and stability and bring prosperity to the Indo-Pacific, Vice President William Lai (賴清德) told a delegation led by Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Youth Division director Norikazu Suzuki yesterday.
Suzuki, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, is leading a 65-person LDP delegation comprising members of the Japanese Diet, local representatives and university students on a four-day visit to Taiwan until Wednesday.
Lai welcomed the delegation at the Presidential Office yesterday, saying he was happy to see that the Youth Division has close ties with Taiwan, as its members are Japan’s hope for the future.
Taiwan and Japan not only enjoy good relations in tourism but also in trade — Taiwan is Japan’s fourth-largest trading partner and Japan is Taiwan’s third-largest trading partner, with total bilateral trade reaching a record US$88.2 billion last year, he said.
The relationship between Taiwan and Japan is “a true friendship” based on universal values such as democracy and human rights, Suzuki said.
Japan sees Taiwan as a very important partner, he said, adding that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are closely linked to the peace and stability of Japan and the international community.
Photo: Lai Hsiao-tung, Taipei Times
The Youth Division constantly thinks about what actions it can take to promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.
Suzuki said he hopes to take the friendship between Taiwan and Japan to another level in many different fields based on the good foundation that has been built.
Separately, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday told the delegation that changing Taiwan’s political culture has always been his goal.
Photo: Huang Chin-hsuan, Taipei Times
He told Suzuki that he wanted to run for president during a meeting in Taipei in May last year.
Yesterday, Ko said that “as a politician, it is important to walk the talk,” the TPP said in a news release, adding that Suzuki said Ko’s practice-what-you-preach spirit is worth learning from.
Ko shared his thoughts on the challenges Taiwan’s democracy is facing, saying that there have been no major construction plans in Taiwan since 2000 as all efforts have focused on elections, the party said.
Taiwanese politicians seldom mention policies during their campaigns, but instead focus on attacking their opponents, Ko said.
He said he hopes to create a government that values public participation, openness and transparency and sustainable prosperity.
The delegation also met with New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, at the New Taipei City Central Emergency Operations Center yesterday.
The city has maintained substantive cooperation in disaster prevention with Japan, such as by signing a mutual support agreement on disaster prevention with Kanagawa Prefecture in 2016, Hou said.
The city established its Youth Department last year and hopes to engage in more exchanges with the LDP Youth Division, Hou said.
The delegation could learn more about the center’s operations and its emergency data platform during the visit, he added.
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