Japan’s de facto embassy in Taiwan launched a cultural center on Monday in the island’s capital.
Both sides agree that the center will help promote Japanese culture in Taiwan, in the same way that the Taiwan Cultural Center, which opened in June 2015 in Tokyo, has introduced Taiwan culture to Japan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Japan Cultural Center, Japanese Representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata said that with the launch of the center, cultural activities organized by the two centers will begin in full swing.
Describing the Taiwan-Japan relations as a “special partnership,” Numata said he expects both sides to further deepen bilateral ties through economic and cultural exchanges.
“The facility is the center where we can strengthen our friendly relationship,” he said.
The center, situated in the same building in Taipei as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, consists of three areas.
The cultural hall in the basement has an exhibit area and a conference room that can accommodate 100 people for meetings.
The seminar hall on the second floor has a study room that has a capacity of 30 people and can be used for educational seminars or related activities.
The library, also on the second floor, has more than 20,000 Japanese books and magazines on its shelves and boasts a tourism information area.
The opening follows the signing last week of a memorandum of understanding on cultural exchanges. The MOU was signed in Tokyo on Nov. 22 by Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and Taiwan-Japan Relations Association President Chiou I-jen.
Chiou, who also attended the opening ceremony, said Japan is a country with “unique culture” and is worth exploring. In addition to manga and anime, Chiou said Taiwanese people are also interested in Japanese food and movies.
Taiwan too has a unique culture which is formed with the integration of different cultures including Chinese. When the Taiwanese and Japanese cultures meet, he expects to see “wonderful” things to happen.
Japan severed relations with Taiwan and established them with Beijing in 1972. Although Japan and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic ties, unofficial relations have been robust since then.