By Huang Hsu-lei and Liu Tzu-hsuan/staff reporter, with a staff writer
Japan’s Sankei Shimbun yesterday published a two-page advertisement bought by 175 Taiwanese companies, groups and individuals paying tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe died on Friday last week at the age of 67, hours after 41-year-old suspect Tetsuya Yamagami allegedly shot him twice during a campaign speech on a street in Nara, near ‘Osaka, ahead of Japan’s House of Councilors elections, which took place on Sunday.
The advertisement featured a photo of Abe smiling, with the words: “The bravest leader who led Japan to greatness” and “Taiwan’s true friend” written below.
Photo courtesy of the Friends of Shinzo Abe Association in Taiwan
The names of the donors were printed on the opposite page, which also read, “Abe’s contribution to freedom and democracy around the world will never be forgotten.”
The ad was organized by the Association of Friends of Shinzo Abe in Taiwan, which on Monday asked people to donate NT$50,000 each for the ad commemorating Abe, which cost ￥13.95 million (100 $614).
With donations pouring in from the Union Bank of Taiwan, Rong San Lin Enterprise, Liberty Times Group (owner of the Taipei Times and its sister newspaper, the Liberty Times) and hundreds of others, the fundraiser was closed at 6 p.m. the same day.
“Abe was Taiwan’s best friend,” said association chief Mark Chen (陳唐山), adding that he hoped Taiwan’s ties with Japan would continue to deepen.
“Thank you for your friendship,” Takao Nozaki, director of the Japan Association of Tainan City, said yesterday after seeing the ad, adding that Japanese readers must have felt the kindness of Taiwanese.
“We must continue to work hard to strengthen Japan-Taiwan relations,” he added.
Additional reporting by Tsai Wen-chu
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