• Kyodo

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Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian asked Japanese Internet entrepreneur Masayoshi Son on Monday to serve as his personal adviser on information technology issues.

Son, president of the giant Internet holding company Softbank Corp., said he would be ready to offer personal advice to the president whenever needed, the Presidential Office said in a statement.

At a news conference later in the day, Son confirmed he has agreed to serve as the president’s adviser.

The Taiwan people made the right choice by electing “the young, outstanding and democratic” Chen as president, a report by Taiwan’s semiofficial Central News Agency quoted Son as saying.

Son said he believes the island’s high-tech industry has good development prospects under the new government and that his company will strengthen cooperation with Taiwan.

Son, who arrived in Taiwan on Sunday to announce cooperation projects with local partners, has been dubbed “Japan’s Bill Gates” for his leading role in the development of Japan’s IT sector.

Chen said Son’s business example was worth studying as Taiwan tries to sell itself as “Green Silicon Island.”

He said Son’s keys to success were his sense of innovation and quick responses to the market.

Chen said Son’s leadership should serve as a model for politicians since he knows how to pick capable staff, delegate responsibility and treat his employees like customers.

For his part, Son complimented Taiwan on its leading role in the global high-tech industry. He hailed the introduction of computer education at Taiwan’s elementary schools.