The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday expressed support for the planned renaming of the Japan Interchange Association as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association effective from Jan. 1, 2017.
The association represents Japan's interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties. Its counterpart in Japan is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.
The ministry said that the new name reflects the business activities carried out by the association and is a positive development in relations between Taiwan and Japan.
Saying that the two countries have become closer in recent years, the ministry noted that Japan is Taiwan's third largest trade partner, while Taiwan is Japan's fourth largest. Two-way trade totaled US$57.9 billion last year.
In addition, there were a total of 5.3 million visits between Taiwan and Japan last year and that number could pass 6 million this year, according to the ministry.
Taiwan and Japan share in common the universal values of democratic governance, freedom and the rule of law, with various public opinion polls showing the close and friendly relations between Taiwanese and Japanese, the ministry said, while expressing the hope that the two will continue to expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel