LDP Exec Koichi Hagiuda, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen Agree to Deepen Economic, People-to-People Exchanges

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
LDP executive Koichi Hagiuda, left, talks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Wednesday.

TAIPEI — Liberal Democratic Party executive Koichi Hagiuda and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday confirmed that Japan and Taiwan would deepen their cooperation while also countering economic coercion, with China in mind.

In his speech on the same day, Hagiuda, the LDP’s Political Research Council chairman, asserted the need to strengthen supply chains for semiconductors and other areas and expressed Japan’s intention to prioritize economic and personal-level exchanges with Taiwan.

“Taiwan is an extremely important partner with which we share fundamental values and have close economic relations and people-to-people exchanges,” Hagiuda told Tsai.

Tsai said Taiwan would work with Japan to contribute to regional peace and prosperity.

Prior to the meeting with Tsai, Hagiuda stressed in his speech the importance of economic security and the need for a new industrial policy. He suggested the policy could include government procurement of critical materials as long as they are produced in a manner that meets international standards for the environment and human rights. Japan has designated 11 items, including semiconductors and storage batteries, as critical materials.

He said the government would incorporate this view into the economic stimulus package to be finalized by the end of the month.

Hagiuda served as economy, trade and industry minister in Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet from 2021 to 2022, where he focused on strengthening semiconductor ties between Japan and Taiwan.

In Wednesday’s speech, Hagiuda touched on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s projects in Kumamoto Prefecture and said, “The construction of chip plants will be a catalyst, expanding economic ties between Japan and Taiwan.”

On the security front, Hagiuda demanded China “refrain from actions that could increase military tension.”

This was the second consecutive year that Hagiuda visited Taiwan. After completing his itinerary, Hagiuda told reporters that Taiwan is “an irreplaceable partner. I would like to further raise the level of our cooperation and create an environment for exchange.”