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Taiwanese awarded Japanese order for promotion of exchanges

2018/11/23 20:50:11

Japan's representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata (right) and Cheng Chi-yao (鄭祺耀), honorary president of the Taiwan-Japan Cultural and Economic Association

Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) The Japanese government on Friday presented the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun to Cheng Chi-yao (鄭祺耀), honorary president of the Taiwan-Japan Cultural and Economic Association (TJCEA), for his efforts to promote exchanges between the two countries.

The order, awarded to those who have distinguished themselves in developing and promoting international relations, Japanese culture, or the environment, was presented to Cheng by Japan's representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata.

In a statement released by the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei, Cheng was among a list of people, released on Nov. 3, who were to receive the order.

A total of 4,214 people, of which 135 were non-Japanese nationals, received the award this year, including former United States Vice President Dick Cheney, a foreign media report said.

In a speech Friday, Numata said Cheng was awarded the order in recognition of his long-term commitment to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Taiwan and Japan.

When Cheng previously served as the head of the TJCEA, he started a quarterly magazine to introduce Japan through its politics, history, culture, sports and art to Taiwanese people, Numata said.

Cheng served as the TJCEA's head from Dec. 19, 2009 to Oct. 2, 2012, according to the association's website.

Cheng also met with various Japanese, including Japanese parliamentarians, and ethnic Chinese friendship organizations across Japan to strengthen local exchanges between the two sides, Numata said.

Following the 2011 Tohuku earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Pacific Coast of northeastern Japan, Cheng immediately sent his condolences and helped raise funds that were donated to an organization based in the disaster-hit area, Numata said.

Japan's representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata (right) and Cheng Chi-yao (鄭祺耀), honorary president of the Taiwan-Japan Cultural and Economic Association

Cheng, who self-taught himself Japanese at a young age and is now in his 80s, said he was very honored to be awarded the medal.

He said he has always been interested in the development of Taiwan-Japan relations, and he vowed to continue to work hard to strengthen relations between the two countries and help the younger generation continue to promote Taiwan-Japan relations as long as he is alive.

(By Elaine Hou and William Yen)
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