Taiwan Opposition Presidential Candidate Hou Starts Japan Trip

Mayor of New Taipei, Hou Yu-ih, speaks at an event to kick off the presidential campaigns as the candidate for Taiwan’s main opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), at their headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2023.

TAIPEI (Jiji Press) — Hou Yu-ih, the candidate from Taiwan’s largest opposition party Kuomintang in the island’s presidential election next year, started a three-day visit to Japan on Monday.

During the stay, Hou, currently mayor of New Taipei City, will meet with Japanese lawmakers to show good relations with the Asian neighbor in the run-up to the Jan. 13 presidential election.

In a statement released at an airport in Taipei just before his departure, Hou said that Japan is among the countries that are very important for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan wants to maintain its close and friendly relationship with the nation going forward, he added.

According to Kuomintang, it is the second time for its presidential election candidate to visit Japan, after Ma Ying-jeou traveled to the country in 2007.

Also running in the presidential election are Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te, who is chief of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, and former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, head of the Taiwan People’s Party, the island’s third-biggest party.

Ko visited Japan in June and gave a lecture at Waseda University.