Taiwan, Japanese prefecture sign MOU on closer links

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Taiwan is expected to forge closer relations and partnerships with Japan's Kochi Prefecture based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed in Taipei recently, according to Taiwan's major trade promotion body. The memorandum serves as the basis for investment cooperation and technological exchanges between the two sides, with the aim of boosting both economies, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) said in a statement Saturday. Aoki Akihiro, chairman of the Kochi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the MOU on behalf of a business delegation May 20, while TAITRA President Peter Huang signed on behalf of Taiwan. Kochi has rich natural resources and has developed various products using deep ocean water, a good model for Taiwan, TAITRA said. Located in an earthquake zone, the prefecture also has a well-developed disaster prevention industry that Taiwanese companies could learn from, it added. In response, Akihiro said he will lead three enterprises from Kochi to attend the Taipei International Food Show in June, looking for closer trade ties. Japan has long been Taiwan's second-largest trade partner, with bilateral trade totaling US$62.38 billion in 2013, according to official statistics. (By James Lee)