Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association to be opened for Shinzo Abe mourners

The Taipei office of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association will open its basement floor Monday for people to pay their respects to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated during an election campaign event in Nara, Japan Friday, the office said Sunday.

On Monday morning a book of condolences will be placed at the site, though it will only be opened to invited individuals, according to the association, which represents Japan’s interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. the same day, members of the general public will be allowed to enter to remember the Taiwan-friendly former Japanese prime minister.

Visitations to the association to mourn the passing of Abe will continue between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day until July 17, the association said.

The association left a message on its Facebook page mourning the passing of the former prime minister and thanking the people of Taiwan for the support they have shown since his death on July 8.

The association went on to say that Abe, who was 67 at the time of his passing, established many friendships around the world in his 3,188 days in office. He was Japan’s longest serving prime minister.

However, of all the friendships he made, the one with Taiwan and Taiwanese people was something unique, the association said.

Before the association opens its doors for people to offer their condolences, a temporary memorial wall was set up by local supporters outside the Taipei office of the association Saturday, allowing people to write messages to the fallen Japanese politician.

In two days the wall has been filled with messages written in Chinese, Japanese and English from people mourning Abe and expressing support for the friendship between Taiwan and Japan.

Meanwhile, the Taipei 101 skyscraper displayed messages of mourning for Abe alongside the flags of the Republic of China (Taiwan’s official name) and Japan on its animated screens Friday evening.

On Saturday, the management of Taipei 101 announced that the messages would continue to be displayed throughout the evenings of July 9-11 after it received calls from the general public to continue the display to demonstrate the sadness felt by people in Taiwan over Abe’s death.

The association said it is aware of the messages and expressed its gratitude, adding that the constant flow of people paying their respect to Abe outside its Taipei office showcases the close relationship between the two countries.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel