Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chief Representative Mikio Numata visited Taichung City Call today (12th) to meet with Mayor Shiow-yen Lu and discuss various issues. Representative Numata commended Taichung's rapid population growth and consumer purchasing power; he also hopes that there will be more opportunities to cooperate with the City Hall in the future. According to Mayor Lu, Taiwan holds a friendly relationship with Japan, and Taichung has interacted frequently with numerous Japanese cities. Recently, Tomamu and Okura Nikko Hotels have invested to open hotels in Taichung, and the City Hall will strive to take care of these Japanese enterprises and the Japanese expatriates.
Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chief Representative Mikio Numata, Deputy Chief Representative Nishiumi Shigehiro, and Director Makoto Otomo visited Taichung City Government today. They were welcomed by Mayor Lu, Deputy Mayor Bruce Linghu, Secretariat Nai-lun Yen, Economic Development Bureau Director General Szu-hsiang Kao, Tourism Office Director-General Hsiao-chi Lin, Agriculture Bureau Director General Ching-chiang Tsai, consultant Yueh-e Li, and Education Bureau Senior Specialist Ming-chou Kuo. Both parties interchanged opinions on various topics and swapped souvenirs.
Mayor Lu welcomed Representative Numata for visiting Taichung. Taiwan holds a friendly relationship with Japan, and Taichung has interacted frequently with many Japanese cities; 8 out of 13 friendly cities of Taichung are located in Japan. Furthermore, since Taichung started development relatively early, many Japanese citizens chose to stay here, contributing to numerous infrastructures that can still be seen today.
Mayor Lu pointed out that she also holds close ties with Taichung; her grandfather studied in a railway school Japan when he was young and returned home to become one of the first groups of Taiwanese train drivers for the railways administration. Her mother grew up in Japan as well, and her Japanese name was Yoko Hayashi. She only returned to Taiwan during elementary school at the age of 8. When Mayor Lu visited her grandparents' home, they all spoke Japanese, therefore she also understands simple Japanese vocabulary.
Mayor Lu suggested that Taichung's wonderful climate and convenient transportation makes it the most livable city in Taiwan. Recently, many enterprises have made investments in the city, including premier Japanese resort group Tomamu, which will be opening in Guguan. Since this is the group's first investment in Taiwan, Tomamu's boss also visited Taichung to seek further collaborations with the City Hall. In addition, Okura Nikko Hotels will also be opening a hotel in Taichung under its brand; Mayor Lu indicated that the City Hall will strive to take care of these Japanese enterprises and the Japanese expatriates in Taichung. Moreover, Taichung will be hosting the 2020 Taiwan Lantern Festival, so Mayor Lu has invited the Japanese delegates to attend the grand gathering.
Representative Numata remarked that he originally intended to visit Mayor Lu during her inauguration last year, but the timeframe coincided with the Chinese New Year, and Mayor Lu was inundated with work after taking office, so he chose to postpone the meeting until today. He thanked the City Hall for offering space to the association in order to serve Japanese expatriates in Taiwan and provide the citizens with consular services. Currently, there are approximately 1,800 Japanese expatriates living in Taichung City.
Representative Numata also commented that Taichung is a city with a rapidly expanding population. The city's total population of 2.86 people has exceeded that of Kaohsiung, making it the second largest city in Taiwan. Coupled with the high consumer purchasing power of Taichung citizens, many Japanese enterprises with optimistic views about the city's development have already made investments here. In the future, it is hoped that there will be more opportunities for collaboration between Japan and Taichung.