Tsai receives new Japanese envoy to Taiwan, touts deeper ties
Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received Japan's new top envoy to Taiwan, Kazuyuki Katayama, at the presidential office on Monday, touting the further cementing of relations between the two countries based on already long-term cordial ties.
Tsai hailed the veteran career diplomat and expressed hopes that he will gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan's democratization during his tenure.
She thanked Japan for its firm support of peace in the Taiwan Strait and called for joint efforts by the two like-minded countries to safeguard peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan is willing and capable of participating in international or regional blocks, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and looks forward to further cementing trade and investment ties between the two countries, as part of efforts to start a new chapter in bilateral relations, Tsai said.
Giving his remarks in Chinese, Katayama, chief representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association's Taipei Office, said he felt fortunate and happy to have the opportunity to work in Taiwan after having served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for over 40 years.
During that time, he was assigned to work in the United States, China, Belgium and Malaysia, as well as served as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Peru for about three years, the seasoned diplomat said.
Katayama said although this is his first time working in Taiwan, he has been here on business and sightseeing trips five times, adding that he last visited in 2006.
While posted here, Katayama said he will gain a first-hand understanding of Taiwan, which he said has gone through a marked evolution over the past decade or more.
He recalled that the Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan's first opposition party, had just been established when he undertook his master's degree in the United States in 1986, and that his master's thesis was on Taiwan's democratization.
Over the past 35 years, Taiwan has held many rounds of elections and developed into a full-blown democracy, he noted.
Katayama said he felt it was "fated" that he would be assigned to work in Taiwan ahead of the Jan. 13 presidential and legislative elections to experience and witness in person how Taiwan's democratic system works.
Highlighting the close and important bonds between Taiwan and Japan, which share the same values and represent a force for good, Katayama stressed that cross-strait peace is of extreme significance to Taiwan, Japan and the rest of the international community.
The Japanese envoy said he feels a strong responsibility to build a deeper and broader friendship between the two countries by helping Taiwanese better understand the importance of Japan and vice versa.
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