Tokyo governor hopes for rapprochement with Taiwan

Tokyo, Sept. 17 (CNA) Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday sent greetings to President of the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) while expressing hope for closer ties between the city and Taiwan at the opening of a Taiwanese culture festival in the Japanese capital.

The two-day TAIWAN PLUS Festival opened at Ueno Park on Saturday morning, and although Koike did not attend the opening ceremony due to her busy schedule, a statement prepared by her was released. read during the ceremony.

In the statement, the Tokyo governor thanked everyone who worked to organize the event, which aims to promote Taiwanese culture.

Koike, who last attended the TAIWAN PLUS event in person three years ago, also sent his best wishes to Tsai and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Japanese parliamentarian Keiji Furuya, who is also chairman of the Japan-ROC Diet Members Advisory Council, attended the opening to show his support for the festival.

The parliamentarian said the event provided Japanese people with an opportunity to better understand Taiwan, adding that he looked forward to seeing more people travel between Taiwan and Japan as COVID-19 border restrictions are gradually lifted. in both countries.

Furuya, who last visited Taipei in August, also said he would lead a 20-member parliamentary delegation to Taiwan to attend the ROC National Day celebrations on October 10.

Taiwanese representative in Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said Japan has shown strong support for Taiwan as the country has recently faced many challenges at international forums.

He added that he hopes TAIWAN PLUS, the largest Taiwanese cultural festival in Japan, will further enhance bilateral exchanges between the two sides.

The main organizer of the event, the General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC), said it first held the TAIWAN PLUS festival in Tokyo in 2018 with the aim of making it an annual event, but that he had to cancel it in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. -19.

This year’s festival features more than 70 stalls selling Taiwanese cuisine and designer goods, as well as games commonly seen in Taiwan’s night markets, the GACC said.

In addition, nine bands from Taiwan will perform at the two-day event, including singer-songwriter Fang Wu (吳汶芳), rock band Fire EX. and the Lei Sheng Art Group drum troupe, he added.

In a press release on Saturday evening, the GACC said more than 100,000 people visited the festival on opening day.

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