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Softball association inks MOU with Japanese city during Mie governor’s visit

Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu (center) is joined by Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (fifth right) and MOE Deputy Minister Fan Sun-lu (sixth right) in welcoming Mie Gov. Eikei Suzuki (sixth left) and his delegation to the Presidential Office March 10 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of MOE)
Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu (center) is joined by Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (fifth right) and MOE Deputy Minister Fan Sun-lu (sixth right) in welcoming Mie Gov. Eikei Suzuki (sixth left) and his delegation to the Presidential Office March 10 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of MOE)
 
A memorandum of understanding on softball cooperation was signed by Taiwan's amateur softball association (CTASA) and Kumano City in Japan’s Mie prefecture, according to the Ministry of Education March 10.
 
Under the agreement, Kumano will provide overseas training facilities for the CTASA as the organization seeks to boost national team preparations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The pact was inked in Taipei City by Wei Lung-chi, deputy chairman of the association, and Kumano Mayor Kanji Kawakami during the visit of a Mie delegation led by Gov. Eikei Suzuki.
 
Suzuki was heading a 10-person group on a two-day stay in country. This marked his seventh visit to Taiwan.
 
Welcoming the governor at the Presidential Office in Taipei the same day, Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu praised the increasing academic, sports and tourism exchanges with Mie since the prefecture staged the sixth Taiwan-Japan Tourism Summit Forum in 2013.
 
According to Chen, education cooperation in particular has seen impressive growth in recent years, with around 480 faculty members and students from 16 local schools participating in exchanges with Mie counterparts between 2016 and 2018.
 
Thanking Chen for the warm reception, Suzuki similarly highlighted growing people-to-people connections. Since the prefecture hosted the summit, the number of Taiwan tourists visiting Mie each year has risen threefold, he said.
 
Taiwan and Japan education ties are going from strength to strength. Around 36,000 Japanese students travel to Taiwan annually on exchange programs and trips, while over 10,000 Taiwan students visit the other side, according to the MOE.
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