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Ex-president to visit Japan, claims daily

Ex-president to visit Japan, claims daily

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) is scheduled to visit Japan in late November at the invitation of a Keio University students association, the Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday.
According to the paper, Lee will deliver a speech on the Japanese spirit at Keio University as part of the school's anniversary celebrations.
The paper further said Keio University's largest students group ?Keizai Shinjin Kai (Economics Freshmen Association) ?spent two years arranging Lee's visit to Japan and that Chin Mei-ling, a Japan-based R.O.C. national policy adviser, helped arrange Lee's upcoming Japanese trip.
Chin also confirmed with local media that Lee has been invited to visit Japan in late November.
Lee is expected to apply for a visa in the near future with the Taipei office of the Japanese Interchange Association, a quasi-official organization authorized to handle relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Katharine Chang (張小月) said yesterday that "the ministry will do its best to assist Lee in making a trip to Japan." She added, however, that the MOFA "has not received any such request from Lee's office."
Her statement came after Japan's Sankei Shimbun daily reported earlier that day that Lee is scheduling a visit to Japan in late November. He last visited Japan in April 2001.
Lee, an outspoken critic of China's military threats against Taiwan and its diplomatic stranglehold on the country, went to Japan in April 2001 to receive medical treatment for his heart. His visit triggered heated debates in the Japanese political arena and drew protests from China.
The Sankei Shimbun said although Lee's planned visit this time is purely to deliver an academic lecture, it remains unclear whether the Japanese government will grant Lee an entry permit. As Japan is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of formal Tokyo-Beijing ties, the paper said, Japan's ruling coalition would have a hard time deciding whether to approve Lee's visa application.
Meanwhile, according to the report, the foreign ministry of the People's Republic of China has already conveyed to the Japan government its opposition to Lee's proposed visit and has also claimed that the Tiaoyutais islands are part of China's territory, refuting a statement by Lee earlier during an interview with a Japanese paper, that the islands belong to Japan.


Updated : 2020-12-05 07:14 GMT+08:00