Taiwan: President Hopes Japan Will Accept Taiwan's Licenses
President Chen Shui-bian yesterday expressed hope that the Japanese government would recognize international driver's licenses issued by Taiwan.
"Many countries in Asia have recognized international driver's licenses issued by Taiwan's government, including South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and India," Chen said. "In Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Hungary also recognize Taiwan's international driver's licenses."
Chen made the remarks yesterday while receiving Okada Katsuya, a former member of Japan's House of Representatives, at the Presidential Office.
Japan has not recognized Taiwan's international driver's licenses because Taiwan is not a member of the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic. It, however, recognizes drivers' licenses from France, Germany and Switzerland, which are also not members of the convention.
It is understood that the Japanese Foreign Ministry supports the proposal, but that Japan's National Police Agency is still evaluating the needs of Taiwanese tourists.
In other matters, Chen told his guest that any cross-strait disputes must be settled via peaceful means rather than military or any non-peaceful methods.
"We are committed to defending peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Chen said. "Taiwan and Japan are definitely the best allies in safeguarding democratic values and protecting the economies and safety of the region. It is the common interests of the US, Japan and Taiwan to protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
Describing Taiwan-Japan relations as "satisfactory," Chen extended his appreciation to the Japanese government's endorsement of Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Assembly as an observer in May 2004. The US and Japan last February also declared security in the Taiwan Strait to be a common strategic objective.
Chen said that he hopes bilateral economic ties and tourism will continue to grow.
Chen also lauded Katsuya for believing in the idea of "transfer of
power," a political ideal that Chen said coincides with his own.