FURUYA Keiji, chairman of a bipartisan group of Japanese lawmakers plans to visit Taiwan next week, according to the sources close to the group. This move follows the group’s attempt to advance relations with the self-governed island.
Head of the Japan- ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, Furuya is expected to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and defense officials of the island during a three-day visit next Monday, aiming to proclaim the bilateral ties between the two parties.
This will be the official’s first visit to Taiwan since attending a memorial service for late President Lee Teng-hui in 2020. However, this move by the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker could be prove to be provocative against China, amid heightened cross-strait tensions, following the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier in the month.
The council has served as a conductor between Japan and Taiwan, which otherwise have no diplomatic relations, following its split in 1949 as a result of a civil war. The council was advised by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before his death.
According to the sources, Furuya said that the visit would emphasize Tokyo’s aim to continue maintaining relations with Taipei.
The two parties are expected to set a delegation of council members for Oct.10 celebrations in motion, commemorating Taiwan’s National Day and holding a strategic dialogue between lawmakers from Japan, US and the self-governing nation.
The discussion will also incorporate a plan of action for improvement of the defense system in cooperation with the US, including opinions on the recent large-scale military drills carried out by China around Taiwan.
Furuya, who will be accompanied by the ROC Diet Members’ Consultative council’s secretary general Minoru Kihara, is also expected to visit the late President Lee’s grave.