Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui withdrew his visa application Tuesday after it was revealed that Keio University has canceled a plan to let him give a speech there.
The application, filed Monday, was withdrawn without explanation by Lee’s aide Tuesday afternoon after Japan’s unofficial representative office in Taipei questioned him about the purpose of the visit, a senior Foreign Ministry official said. Lee had applied for a multiple-entry visa valid for five years.
A student group at the university in Tokyo had invited Lee to speak at an annual school festival later this month. Immediately after he applied for the visa, however, China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province, warned Japan not to issue the visa.
It would have been Lee’s second visit to the country in two years.
Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi told a Diet committee Tuesday morning that it was difficult give Lee a visa for making a speech at Keio because such a plan no longer exists.
Kawaguchi told a news conference earlier in the day that the decision to cancel the event was an internal matter for the university and the student group, and that the Foreign Ministry was in no position to intervene.
Lee last visited Japan in April 2001 to undergo treatment for a heart condition. The visit to Okayama Prefecture, however, led to protests from China, including the cancellation of a visit by Li Peng, chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress.
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