Nonaka cuts China trip over Lee visa

Hiromu Nonaka, a former secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Saturday he will cancel a trip to China next month because Japan issued a visa to former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui.

“The visa issuance to former Taiwan President Lee is disrespectful to China and it is not appropriate for me to visit the country now,” Nonaka said.

He was scheduled to go to China on Jan. 11 along with LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Hidenao Nakagawa and former LDP Secretary General Makoto Koga. Nonaka said he told Nakagawa and Koga on Friday that he will cancel the trip.

Nakagawa and Koga are expected to visit China as scheduled.

The government issued a visa to Lee on Tuesday despite China’s strong protests. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi maintained Japan has “no reason to refuse” as Lee is coming for a tourist trip as “a private person.”