Japanese diplomat lauds Taiwan’s coronavirus response


TAIPEI (CNA) — Japan’s representative to Taiwan Hiroyasu Izumi (泉裕泰) on Wednesday praised Taiwan’s containment, prevention and quarantine measures in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Taiwan and Japan are facing challenges resulting from the new coronavirus, Izumi said, adding that he hopes the two countries can work with the rest of world to fight the epidemic.

Taiwan’s prevention and control efforts and its quarantine policies have been effective, Izumi said at an event to mark the ninth anniversary of a devastating magnitude-9 earthquake that struck northeastern Japan.

After the deadly earthquake and resulting massive tsunami in March 2011, Taiwan stepped forward with generous support and encouragement, which left an indelible impression on the Japanese people, he said.

Since then, the devastated northeast Japan region has recovered and become even more resilient and attractive to visitors, Izumi said.

For instance, although many of the 110 alcohol manufacturers in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures suffered damage during the earthquake, none of them have closed, he said. Furthermore, Fukushima’s agricultural exports are now 1.4 times more than in the period before the disaster, Izumi said.

In addition, tourist arrivals in the six prefectures in the region last year were about three times more that before the earthquake, he said.

Earlier Wednesday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) tweeted in Japanese that at 2:46 p.m. (Japan time), she will pray with her Japanese friends for those who perished in the disaster. “Taiwan and Japan are friends,” she headed the tweet.

Taiwan’s representative office in Japan later posted Tsai’s tweet on its Facebook page with a photo showing a paper crane made by Izumi and the words “Thank you Taiwan, Taiwan and Japan go go go” in his calligraphy.