Former President Lee Teng-hui meets with Abe in Tokyo: Report

Former President Lee Teng-hui meets with Abe in Tokyo: Report
Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui delivers a speech during a luncheon at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo on July 23, 2015.

TAIPEI - Former R.O.C. President Lee Teng-hui, who is currently visiting Japan, yesterday met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, according to Japanese media.

Japanese TV station TV Tokyo yesterday said Abe paid a visit to Lee yesterday morning at a Tokyo hotel where Lee stayed during his ongoing Japan tour.

The meeting lasted for 90 minutes. Lee himself also later confirmed to a reporter at the station that he had met with the Japanese prime minister at his hotel, TV Tokyo said yesterday.

Japanese media said the meeting between a former Taiwan leader and Japan's incumbent prime minister could anger Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Asked to comment, Lee yesterday refused to confirm his reported meeting with Abe when asked about the issue by Taiwanese media in Japan.

"I have nothing to comment on the issue," he said.

"I can only say that I would love to give the highest credit to Abe for his contributions to Japan," he noted.

Lee made the comments during a press conference held at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan following his address at the club in Tokyo yesterday.

The 92-year-old Lee is visiting Japan on a six-day tour, his seventh trip to the Asian neighbour since he left office. He last visited Japan in September 2014.

Lee arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday. He had previously delivered an address in front of more than 200 Japanese legislators at a Diet Members Office Building on Wednesday, making him the first former Taiwan leader to do so.

According to his office, Lee is scheduled to leave Tokyo today to visit Fukushima prefecture, an area that was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, where he will visit the Minami Tohoku Fukushima Hospital.

Lee will fly to Sendai City located in Miyagi Prefecture later on Friday, where he will spend a day on Saturday.

On Sunday, Lee is slated to visit the Millennium Hope Hills, a seaside park in Iwanuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, where he will pay his respects to those who lost their lives in the March 2011 disaster, before heading back to Taipei later on the same day.

Lee's two daughters and his granddaughter are traveling with Lee during the Japan visit, the office said.

Lee was the first directly elected president of the R.O.C., who led the country from January 1988 to May 2000

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