Former Japan prime minister to attend Lee Teng-hui's memorial in Taiwan

Yoshiro Mori likely to visit Taiwan for second time in two months as government envoy

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Japan Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will reportedly visit Taiwan for the second time in two months to attend the memorial ceremony of former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

Kyodo News cited sources familiar with the matter as saying that Mori will lead a parliamentary delegation to Taiwan Sept. 18 on a chartered flight, and attend the memorial service the next day in New Taipei City. The delegation is expected to return to Japan on Sept. 19, the report said.

The former prime minister, 83, will travel to Taiwan with members of the Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council. On behalf of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mori visited Taiwan in early August to express condolences on Lee's passing.

Mori led a delegation on his previous visit, accompanied by Keiji Furuya, chairman of the parliamentary caucus, and Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother and parliamentarian from the Liberal Democratic Party. The delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during their visit, which was shortened to just one day due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Politicians and prominent figures from around the world have paid tribute to Lee following his death at the age of 97 on July 30. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio recently sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to send a high-level official to Taiwan for bilateral trade talks, as well as Lee’s upcoming memorial.

“President Lee was a historic figure who was responsible for Taiwan’s democratization, and a stalwart friend to America,” said Rubio in the letter. “Should scheduling work, it would be fitting for a senior U.S. representative to attend his funeral.”