TAIPEI (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday sent a congratulatory message to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the landslide victory of his Liberal Democratic party (LDP) in the parliamentary elections in the day.
In the message released by the Presidential Office, Tsai said that
she hoped Taiwan and Japan would forge closer ties in the wake of the LDP’s victory.
The president’s congratulatory message was conveyed via Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), head of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA), a semi-official Taiwanese agency in Taipei that handles relations with Japan.
The LDP won a strong mandate in the snap general election Sunday, taking two-thirds of the seats in the parliament, which is expected to strengthen Abe’s hard line position against North Korea and create room to push for revision of the country’s pacifist Constitution.
The election results also paved the way for Abe to become the longest serving leader in Japan’s modern history as he is likely to remain in office for at least another three years.
In President Tsai’s congratulatory message, she said Taiwan was grateful to Abe for the close attention he had been giving to cooperation between Taiwan and Japan and his support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and activities.
Under his continued leadership, Taiwan and Japan are expected to deepen bilateral ties, and work together to boost the welfare of their people and achieve prosperity and stability in the region, Tsai said.
In January, Japan renamed its Interchange Association in Taipei
as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, the counterpart of TJRA,
which was perceived as a milestone in bilateral ties.
A few months later, Taiwan officially renamed its 45-year-old Association of East Asian Relations in Taipei as the TJRA, at a ceremony that both sides called a “historical moment.” Japan maintains non-governmental, working-level relations with Taiwan although it switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1972. •
By Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang