Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday said that Taiwan is an important partner that shares mutual values and interests.

Abe made the remarks while meeting with Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Keisuke Suzuki, who led a delegation of young Japanese politicians on a visit to Taiwan earlier this month, Japanese media reported yesterday.

The delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during a three-day visit from March 18, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

After his meeting with Abe, Suzuki told reporters that the Japanese prime minister had said that “Taiwan is an important partner that shares mutual values and interests with Japan,” and that he hopes to use the youth division as the core for improving bilateral relations, the newspaper said.

On Tuesday last week, Tsai wrote on Twitter that she hopes young Taiwanese and Japanese politicians will work hand-in-hand to deepen bilateral exchanges.

The Japanese paper also reported on last Saturday’s visit to Taiwan by Japanese Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Jiro Akama, who attended an event promoting Japanese tourism and culture.

Akama is the highest-ranking Japanese official to have visited Taiwan since 1972, when the two countries severed diplomatic ties after Tokyo switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

Asked about Akama’s visit, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Tokyo hopes to continue to promote its relations with Taiwan on the basis of the existing unofficial relations.

Japan and Taiwan are important partners and maintain close economic and people-to-people exchanges, he added.


Source: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/03/31/2003667806