A joint declaration has been issued at an annual summit on Taiwan-Japan exchanges held in Kobe City on Friday, calling for the Japanese government to support Taiwan's participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The "Kobe Declaration" said Japan should step up its effort to promote Taiwan's entry to the CPTPP, and also its participation in various international organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the International Criminal Police Organization.
It also urged Taiwan and Japan to work together to promote economic, cultural and educational exchanges, as well as cooperate in medical care and disaster prevention.
The Kobe Declaration called for the Japanese government to promptly enact a "Taiwan-Japan Relations Basic Law" that aims to promote bilateral relations and security cooperation.
The summit was launched in 2015 by local council members in Japan with friendly relations with Taiwan.
This year, although Taiwanese city and county councilors were unable to attend the meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it still drew in 510 participants who are regional assembly members from across Japan, a record high for the event.
Kobe City Assembly Speaker Kazuhiko Adachi, who hosted the summit, said he was not expecting a high turnout, considering the ongoing pandemic and the absence of Taiwan's council members.
Despite this, Taiwan's representative to Japan, Frank Hsieh (???), was there to thank the organizers for their continued support for Taiwan, and said the summit has helped deepen bilateral ties.
Speaking of the Kobe Declaration, Hsieh said he believed that on a grass-root level, local government voices in Japan could help influence the central government's decision-making.
The Kobe City Assembly has been the first in Japan among others to pass a motion supporting Taiwan's participation at the WHO, which subsequently prompted Japan's House of Councillors to pass a resolution calling on countries to give Taiwan observer status in the global health governing body, he explained.
During the event, organizers also played a recording of Vice President Lai Ching-te (???) thanking Japan for its generous donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, which have totaled 4.2 million doses to date.
According to Kobe City Councilor Norihiro Uehata, the Chinese consulate in Osaka last month sought to block the summit from taking place in Kobe City, but in defiance of Beijing's pressure, event organizers rallied support online, resulting in the largest ever attendance.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel