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Typhoon brings Taiwanese leader to Naha stopover

Date Posted: 2004-09-03

Typhoon Chaba missed Okinawa on its way to the Japanese mainland, but brought unexpected guests enroute.

Taiwanese Premier Yu Shyi-kun's plane made an unscheduled stop at Naha airport because of the typhoon, leaving Yu to meet with local political and business leaders while waiting to resume his flight. It is the first visit to Japan by a Taiwanese premier since September 2001, when Chang Chun-hsiung stopped at Tokyo's Haneda airport on his way home from Honolulu.

Okinawa Vice Governor Hirotaka Makino met the Premier in a waiting room at the airport, where Yu emphasized the close relationship between Taiwan and Okinawa. "Taiwan and Okinawa are geographically close and have been engaged in active economic exchanges," he said. Yu proposed that Taiwan and Okinawa hold a conference to stimulate economic and cultural exchanges.

In response, Makino noted "We would like to enhance the exchanges at nongovernmental levels.

Yu was on his way to Taipei from New York, where he stopped after a visit to the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. He had attended the presidential inauguration ceremony in the Dominican Republic. Yu left Naha airport when the flight resumed after the few hours stopover.

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