Taiwan to send 3-person delegation to ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral

Taiwan to send 3-person delegation to ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe's state funeral

Taiwan will send a three-person delegation to attend the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this month, including a former parliament speaker and a former premier, the island’s presidential office said on Thursday.

Abe, the longest-serving leader in modern Japan, was fatally shot at close range during a campaign rally on July 8.

Taiwan Vice President William Lai attended Abe’s private funeral less than a week later in a personal capacity as a friend of his, though the trip still drew a diplomatic complaint from Beijing, which views the island as its own territory.

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Taiwan’s presidential office said the delegation will consist of former parliament speaker Wang Jin-pyng, former premier Frank Hsieh who is now the de facto ambassador to Japan, and Su Jia-chyuan, who heads a body in charge of relations with Tokyo in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

The three have had a “deep friendship and close interaction” with Abe for many years, and their attendance fully demonstrates the firm friendship between Taiwan and Japan, office spokesman Xavier Chang said in a statement.

The state funeral will take place on Sept. 27.

Abe was a popular figure in Taiwan for his support of the island, although Japan, like most countries, has formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, not Taipei.

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