Taipei, Taiwan (Merxwire) – Taiwan’s Presidential Office congratulated Yoshihide Suga on his election as Japanese prime minister on Sept. 16 and expressed hopes that ties between Taiwan and Japan would continue to grow stronger during his tenure.
Taiwan had enjoyed a warm relationship with Japan under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned for health reasons. Suga, who served as Abe’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, helped planned and implemented Abe’s policies. The new prime minister is likely to continue has predecessor’s Taiwan-friendly policy.
As Chief Cabinet Secretary, Suga had twice expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for the donation of surgical masks to help in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, the Taiwanese government donated two million masks to Japan. Taiwanese philanthropists, including Taiwanese entrepreneur Angelo Koo, also donated masks in support of Japan. Suga expressed his gratitude to the Taiwanese people and enterprises, adding that Japan will work with its neighbors to fight the pandemic.
According to former Japanese leader Yoshiro Mori, Suga is open to a phone conversation with President Tsai Ing-wen. If realized, it would be the first direct talk between the leader of Japan and Taiwan in decades.