Japanese cultural center opens in Taipei

Taipei-The Japanese Cultural Center officially opened in Taipei on Monday and is being touted as a way of enhancing exchanges and understandings between the two countries.

In an opening ceremony held at the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (JTEA) in Taipei, where the new center is located, Japan's top envoy to Taiwan Mikio Numata (????) said the new venue is expected to promote even closer exchanges between Japan and Taiwan.

According to Numata, the center was opened following the signing of a cultural exchanges memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the just-concluded Taiwan-Japan economic and trade conference last Wednesday in Tokyo.

"The MOU is expected to comprehensively boost cultural exchanges between Japanese and Taiwanese culture," he said.

The center will work closely with the Taiwan cultural center under the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Tokyo, he noted.

A series of cultural exchanges activities will soon be held following the opening of the center, the envoy said.

In his address, Chiou I-jen (???), head of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA), which handles bilateral affairs in the absence of diplomatic ties, said he has high hopes of the Japanese cultural center.

"Japan has a very unique culture in the Asia Pacific region. Taiwanese culture also has rich Chinese cultural essence. The coming together of the two cultures will definitely bear much fruit," he noted.

Chiou added that Taiwanese youngsters are huge fans of Japanese comic books and animation, but pointed out that Japanese culture is far deeper than that.

He hopes that new venue will continue to promote exchanges that help to boost Taiwanese understanding of Japanese culture.

The center is located on the second floor of the JTEA, the de facto Japanese embassy in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

It has a library with more than 20,000 books on Japanese culture, a Japanese tourism information center and conference rooms in the JTEA basement.

The library will be open to the general public starting Tuesday from 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during weekdays.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel