Taiwan-Japan relations at their best ever: president


TAIPEI–President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that bilateral relations between Taiwan and Japan have been at their best level ever over the past year because of the efforts of both sides to develop stronger ties.

During a brief meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu at the Presidential Office, Ma said he last met with Kaifu on March 10, 2011, the day before a deadly magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan and left over 20,000 people dead.

He said he extended Taiwan’s sympathy in a letter to Kaifu on March 12, which was then followed by substantial donations of money and relief supplies from people in Taiwan to help disaster victims and the recovery of affected areas.

Over the past six months, he said, friends from Japan have made visits to Taiwan to offer their gratitude for Taiwan’s support.

Bilateral relations reached a new high last October, Ma said, when 66 Japanese parliamentarians came to Taiwan for the country’s Double Tenth National Day celebrations, the biggest delegation of Japanese politicians ever to visit Taiwan.

There have also been a number of breakthroughs in relations over the past three years, the president said, including the signing of a working holiday pact and an MOU on a special partnership.