Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that Taiwan and Japan are “old friends”, and that his country’s donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan was a “natural decision”. His words came during a radio interview with Nippon Broadcasting System on Thursday.
On June 4, Japan donated 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan. The delivery more than doubled Taiwan’s total stock of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The foreign ministry has thanked Abe, saying that Japan and Taiwan have long enjoyed close relations. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Joanne Ou says Abe contributed greatly to strengthening ties during his time as prime minister. She says Abe also played an important role behind the scenes in the recent vaccine donation.
Ou says whenever a disaster strikes Japan or Taiwan, the countries can rely on one another to provide timely help.