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Abe thanks Taiwan for aid, says island an important friend to Japan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Japanese Prime Minister Japan Shinzo Abe recently reiterated that Taiwan is an important friend of Japan, while attending an animation event in Chiba Prefecture in Japan.

During the opening ceremony of the NicoNico Super Party 3, an animation event at an exhibition hall in Chiba Prefecture, Abe showed up at the booth of Taiwan and said hello to animation fans and staff of National Taiwan Normal University through a hand-shaking machine.

Abe publicly gave thanks for the help from Taiwan during the March 11 earthquake in 2011, and said that Taiwan is an important friend of Japan.

Yuriko Koike, a member of Japan's House of Representatives for Tokyo's 10th district and a former defense minister, accompanied Abe to the Taiwan booth to express her appreciation.

Ever since Abe took over the position as prime minister, he has publicly expressed friendly statements toward Taiwan. During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that took place last October, he posted a photo of him and former Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) shaking hands, saying that Taiwan is a friend of Japan.

During the animation event, Taiwan mascot “Taiwan Da” also showed up at the booth and said that during the March 11 earthquake, Taiwan contributed the highest amount of donations to Japan. In order to support Taiwan, the mascot was created to introduce and invite more people to visit the island.

On Feb. 17, close to 70 Diet members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party met to announce their decision to enact a bill for a Japanese version of the U.S. Taiwan Relations Act based on the new developments in relations between Japan and Taiwan, including the signing of the fisheries agreement to help solve disputes over fishing rights in the East China Sea.

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