Japan is eager to deepen ties with Taiwan as its president, Tsai Ing-wen, begins her second term in office, top government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

Taiwan is an "important partner and precious friend" who shares basic values with Japan, Suga noted, adding that they enjoy close economic ties and increased people-to-people exchanges.

"We'd like to congratulate President Tsai Ing-wen on the start of her second term," Suga said at a news conference.