In talk with PM candidate, Tsai hopes for closer ties with Japan

Photo courtesy of the DPP

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) Presidential Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has expressed the hope that Taiwan and Japan will cooperate more closely in the future in a conversation with Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Sanae Takaichi, who is vying to become her country’s first female prime minister.

In a video conference Monday, Tsai said mutual assistance between Taiwan and Japan is critical to regional stability, and she hoped for closer bilateral cooperation in several areas including regional security, economic development, and the global supply chain.

Takaichi, a hardline conservative in Japan’s parliament, has declared her candidacy in the ruling LDP’s Sept. 29 election for party president that will determine the country’s next prime minister.

Takaichi has been described in a story by the Japan Times as “a favorite of conservatives with hawkish views on defense and diplomacy.”

Tsai also thanked Takaichi for Japan’s donation of COVID-19 vaccines to help ease Taiwan’s shortage of the jabs, according to a statement by Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the 30-minute talk.

Takaichi tweeted that she had a virtual dialogue with “Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen” on Monday evening, which proceeded smoothly with the help of translators. Tsai is the head of the DPP.

Echoing Tsai, the Japanese lawmaker said she was eager to hold the meeting to discuss how to deepen security and expand pragmatic exchanges between Japan and Taiwan.

On her twitter page, Takaichi showed a picture of the Japan and Taiwan flags hanging on the wall of the venue where she had the online meeting with Tsai.

She said she expected the entire conversation to be posted on Youtube later in the day.

Japan donated more than 3.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan between June 4 and Sept. 7 and pledged to donate an additional 500,000 doses on Sept. 14.

It has donated more vaccine doses to Taiwan than any other country.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Huang Ming-his and Frances Huang)


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