TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) thanked Japan for its vocal support in favor of Taiwan attending the World Health Assembly (WHA) during a meeting at the Presidential Office with Japanese representative Izumi Hiroyasu (泉裕泰) Thursday (July 23).
As Taiwan has earned international praise due to its effective handling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more nations than ever before have said the island should be allowed to participate in the annual WHA. Japan was one of the countries to back Taiwan's case in public, though, in the end, pressure from China still prevented Taipei from attending the event.
When Izumi served at Japan's foreign ministry, he also helped out with the WHA bid and with a visa waiver for Taiwanese travelers, Lai said, describing his actions as giving strong encouragement to the nation, per CNA.
No matter whether under attack from a global virus, natural disasters, or changing international circumstances, countries must cooperate, according to the vice president. He voiced hope that in the future Taiwan and Japan will work even more closely in the face of crisis.