Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Japan's representative to Taiwan Sumio Tarui said Thursday he is happy to be back in Taiwan and will work to make bilateral ties go from strength to strength.
Tarui, who assumed the post as head of the Taipei office of Japan's Interchange Association in late April, said it is "a fortune" to be stationed again in Taiwan, where he was posted 40 years ago on his first overseas assignment.
Speaking at a reception in Taipei to mark the beginning of his new post, Tarui, 64, said he felt the Taiwanese people are as warm as they used to be.
Tarui also took the opportunity to express gratitude for Taiwan's generous donations and timely assistance in the wake of the powerful magnitude-9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011.
Liao Liou-yi, chairman of the Association of East Asian Relations under Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also attended the reception to congratulate the new head of the association's Taipei office.
The association represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Liao said he expects Tarui, who has long years of diplomatic experience, will play a significant part in boosting Taipei-Tokyo ties.
Succeeding Tadashi Imai, who is now the president of the Interchange Association, Tarui most recently served as Japanese ambassador in charge of Okinawa affairs.
Tarui joined Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1971 and has since served as head of the ministry's China Division, an envoy at Japan's embassy in China, and permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
(By Elaine Hou)