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Lo Fu-chen, Taiwan’s new representative in Japan, on Wednesday expressed Taipei’s hope to realize former President Lee Teng-hui’s visit to Japan with due consideration showed for Tokyo’s diplomatic position.

“Taiwan’s basic stance is that we will respect Japan’s decision (on Lee’s visit),” said Lo, who arrived in Tokyo the previous day. “We hope to realize Mr. Lee’s visit here calmly and without causing any problems.”

It is believed that a visit to Japan by Lee could strain Japan-China relations, although he has not held a public post since newly elected President Chen Shui-bian took office on May 20.

China has occasionally voiced concern over the matter.

Lee infuriated Beijing last summer by demanding that the island be regarded as sovereign and equal under “special state-to-state relations.”

Chen has not championed Lee’s position and recently avoided touching on the sovereignty issue to ease tensions.

“Taiwan intends to promote China-Taiwan dialogue, as an improvement in our relations would help promote stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region,” Lo said.

Regarding Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s recent remarks about Japan being a “divine nation centering on the Emperor,” Lo declined to comment on Taipei’s views of the gaffe.

Nonetheless, Lo said, “Japanese are well aware of the connotations of his remark. What is important is to look toward our common future, based on shared understanding of our history.”