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US, Taiwan, Japan lawmakers to discuss security issues at conference

TAIPEI -- Lawmakers from Taiwan, Japan and the United States will discuss regional security issues at an international conference in Taipei that opens Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Now in its fourth year, the Taiwan-U.S.-Japan Trilateral Security Dialogue forum will open with a session attended by Taiwanese lawmakers Hsiao Bi-khim and Johnny Chi-chen Chiang, U.S. congressman Steve Stockman, and Japanese lawmakers Keisuke Suzuki and Taku Otsuka, in which trilateral relations among the three countries will be discussed, the organizers said.

Former Vice President Vincent Siew will also give a keynote speech titled “Economic Cooperation Between Taiwan, the U.S. and Japan: A Pillar of Regional Prosperity and Stability” at the annual conference, the ministry said in a statement released Monday.

Also at the forum, more than 20 scholars from Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, India, Australia, South Korea and the U.S. will discuss issues of security and regional economic integration, the ministry said.

Discussions will focus on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) trade blocs for the Asia-Pacific region, according to the event's agenda. Taiwan is seeking to join both of these trade blocs.

The U.S.-led TPP is currently being negotiated by the U.S. and 11 other countries — Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei, while the RCEP is being negotiated by all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Commissioned by the Foreign Ministry, the conference is being co-organized by Taipei's Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, Washington-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo.

Stockman is also scheduled to meet with Vice President Wu Den-yih and several government officials to discuss bilateral relations, the ministry said.

Suzuki and Otsuka will meet with Wu and several Taiwanese government officials to discuss the development of Taipei-Tokyo relations, it added.

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