Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on Taiwan’s Observer Participation in the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO)

April 29, 2009

  1. On April 29 (Wednesday), China and Taiwan both announced that Taiwan had received an invitation from Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in the World Health Assembly in May as an observer.
  2. Japan has consistently supported Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer, since its non-participation in WHO has created a geographic gap in implementing countermeasures against infectious diseases, given that as many as 2.5 million people between Japan and Taiwan visit one another every year.
  3. Japan believes that this announcement is extremely timely and significant as WHO and the international community are in the middle of making serious efforts in countering H1N1 influenza. Japan will keep a close watch on this matter in the hope that, with the above-mentioned announcement, the participation of Taiwan’s health authorities in the World Health Assembly will be realized smoothly and continuously.