Tokyo, Sept. 17 (CNA) Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike on Saturday sent her regards to Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) President 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 Saturday morning, and while Koike did not attend the opening ceremony due to her busy schedules, a statement prepared by her was read out at 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 her best wishes to Tsai and Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Japanese parliamentarian Keiji Furuya, who is also chairman of the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, attended the opening to show his support for the festival.
The parliamentarian said the event provided an opportunity for Japanese people to get a better understanding of Taiwan, adding that he looks forward to seeing more people traveling between Taiwan and Japan as COVID-19 border restrictions are gradually lifted in both countries.
Furuya, who last visited Taipei in August, also announced that he would lead a 20-member parliamentarian delegation to Taiwan to attend ROC National Day celebrations on Oct. 10.
Taiwanese representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said Japan has shown sustained support for Taiwan as the country has recently faced many challenges at international forums
He added that he hoped TAIWAN PLUS, the largest Taiwanese culture festival in Japan, would further bolster bilateral exchanges between the two sides.
The event’s main organizer, 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 had to cancel it in both 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
This year’s festival features more than 70 booths selling Taiwanese cuisine and designer products, as well as providing games commonly seen in Taiwan’s night markets, the GACC said.
In addition, nine groups from Taiwan will put on live shows at the two-day event, including singer songwriter Fang Wu (吳汶芳), rock band Fire EX., and drum troupe Lei Sheng Art Group, it said.
In a press statement released on Saturday evening, the GACC said more than 100,000 people visited the festival on the opening day.
(By Wang Pao-er and Teng Pei-ju)


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