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Taiwan will send digital minister Audrey Tang to Tokyo Olympics

Minister without portfolio will thank Japan for vaccine donations, attend opening ceremony

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Digital minister Audrey Tang 

Digital minister Audrey Tang  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will send minister without portfolio and digital expert Audrey Tang (唐鳳) to the July 23 opening of the Tokyo Olympics, the government announced Saturday (July 10).

Tang, who has built up a reputation for her contributions to the battle against COVID-19, will also be thanking Japan for its donations of 2.37 million total vaccine doses, CNA reported. The first batch of 1.24 million AstraZeneca shots arrived on June 4, while a second load of 1.13 million doses was received on Thursday (July 8).

Taiwan’s Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee is paving the way for Tang’s trip to Japan, but the process had not been completed yet, according to a report by the Asahi Shimbun on Friday (July 8).

After the news of Tang's trip was revealed by media in Japan and Taiwan, the government confirmed she would be traveling to the Olympics instead of Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠). He will be involved in matters related to examinations, according to a Cabinet spokesman.

The digital minister is well-known in Japan, with the country asking her for advice on its own plans to set up a ministry of digital affairs. In addition to expressing gratitude for the vaccine donations, her visit will help cement relations between the two countries at a time when China is taking a more aggressive stance against the island.

Japanese and American government officials have recently mentioned the possibility of a Chinese attack against Taiwan and the need for stronger deterrence.