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President Ma Praises Close Taiwan-Japan Relations

President Ma Praises Close Taiwan-Japan Relations

President Ma Ying-jeou lauded strong ties between Taiwan and Japan May 1, vowing to further expand exchanges on all fronts.

The president made the remarks while receiving a delegation of Japanese parliamentarians headed by Nobuo Kishi, younger brother of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. Other members included Tsukasa Akimoto, Yohei Matsumoto, Nobuhide Minorikawa and Junzo Yamamoto.

“The landmark bilateral fishery rights agreement signed April 10 after 17 years of hard work resolved the dispute over overlapping fishing grounds, allowing fishermen from both sides to operate in designated areas without interference, ” Ma said. “Its shelving of disagreements and focus on resource sharing conform to the spirit of our government’s East China Sea peace initiative.”

Proposed Aug. 5, 2012, by Ma, the five-point initiative urges all parties making claims to the Diaoyutai Islands to refrain from antagonistic actions; maintain dialogue; observe international law; settle differences through peaceful means; and form a mechanism for the cooperative exploration and development of resources.

“By continuing to work together, Taiwan and Japan can turn the East China Sea into a region of peace and cooperation,” Ma said.

Noting the similarities between the island countries in terms of earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as dependence on independent power grids, the president said Taiwan and Japan could benefit greatly from information exchanges and cooperation regarding nuclear safety.

Following the September 2011 inking of a bilateral investment protection pact, Taiwan has stepped up efforts to enhance industrial collaboration with Japan, and looks forward to expanding and deepening economic and investment relations, Ma said.

Greater convenience of travel between the two sides has come with direct flights between Taipei Songshan and Tokyo Haneda airports, as well as direct air connections from Taichung City in central Taiwan and Chiayi County and Tainan City in the south, Ma pointed out.

On the cultural front, the first performance in Taiwan of Japan’s all-female Takarazuka Revue last month was a resounding success, Ma said. In addition, Taipei City-based National Palace Museum is set to show treasures from its collection next year in Japan, while Tokyo National Museum is scheduled to reciprocate in 2017 with an exhibition on Japanese palace art at the NPM Southern Branch in Chiayi County, thus further advancing cultural exchanges.

“Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida remarked on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Interchange Association early this year that the strong friendship and trust between our two countries is based on our common belief in democracy, freedom and peace, and that Taiwan is an important partner to Japan,” Ma said. “This is exactly what I meant when I said Taiwan and Japan share a special partnership.”


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