Japan ex-prime minister Aso pays respects at former Taiwan leader's grave

NHK -- Aug 08

Aso Taro, vice president of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has laid flowers at the grave of the former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui, who fostered close ties with Japan.

Aso, who formerly served as Japan's prime minister, arrived in Taiwan on Monday for a three-day visit.

He visited the military cemetery where Lee was buried in 2020 after his death at the age of 97. Lee contributed to Taiwan's democratization by allowing voters to directly cast ballots in a presidential race for the first time.

On Tuesday, Aso is scheduled to meet President Tsai Ing-wen, as well as deliver a speech on regional affairs at an international forum.

Aso is also due to meet with Vice President Lai Ching-te, who is likely to run as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party candidate in the presidential election in January.

In addition, he will have talks with Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an, a great-grandson of Taiwan's first President Chiang Kai-shek.

Aso hopes to highlight the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait amid China's growing military pressure on Taiwan.