• Kyodo

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The head of Taiwan’s legislature handed over a donation of 24.55 million New Taiwan dollars (about ¥80 million) to Japan on Tuesday on behalf of Taiwanese people to help its southern city of Kumamoto recover from a series of earthquakes that struck in April.

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, who arrived in Japan on Monday for a four-day visit as head of a parliamentary delegation, presented the donation to Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of Japan’s Interchange Association, which handles bilateral exchanges in the absence of official diplomatic relations between the two sides.

He said the people of Taiwan and Japan “are of one heart” and traditionally help each other in times of difficulty.

Taiwan’s government and some of its municipal governments, such as the southern cities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, have already made contributions to the Kumamoto recovery. The latest one was raised through donations by the Taiwan public.

Ohashi thanked the Taiwanese people and said many Japanese still remember the generous support they extended in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region in 2011.

Su’s delegation of more than 20 lawmakers belonging to a Taiwan-Japan parliamentary league is making the first visit of its kind since his Democratic Progressive Party won last January’s presidential and legislative elections.

Later Tuesday, the delegation was scheduled to call on Hiroyuki Hosoda, acting secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Yukio Edano, secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Party, and visit the Tokyo National Museum, according to Taiwanese media.

On Wednesday, the legislators plan to meet with pro-Taiwan counterparts, including Nobuo Kishi, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s younger brother.

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