Taiwan sees relations with Japan as important: vice president

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Vice President Chen Chien-jen meets Taiwanese living in Japan.

Vice President Chen Chien-jen meets Taiwanese living in Japan. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei (CNA) - Taiwan attaches importance to its relations with Japan and hopes to forge closer ties with the country, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said Tuesday.

Speaking with a visiting delegation of Taiwanese expatriates in Japan, Chen described Japan as an important ally and said that the two sides are closely tied in terms of culture and economy.

He said bilateral relations moved a step closer when the Japanese government made the decision to change the name of its representative office in Taiwan from the "Interchange Association, Japan" to the "Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association" at the beginning of this year.

It also changed the Chinese name of the organization by adding the names "Japan" and "Taiwan," he said.

Despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties, cooperation between the two countries remains strong, both in terms of economy and culture, the vice president said.

Two-way tourism has also flourished, he went on, noting that Taiwanese visitors to Japan reached 4.56 million last year, while Japanese tourists coming to the island stood at 1.89 million.

While Taiwan is seeking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and pushing its "5+2 Industrial Innovation Program," Chen said the government hopes that Taiwanese expatriates can also use their influence to help Taiwan forge an economic partnership agreement with Japan.

Meanwhile Chen extended his gratitude to the delegation for its long-term support for Taiwan, and for its help in promoting bilateral friendship.