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President Tsai thanks Japan for supporting Taiwan's WHA bid
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Taipei, May 9 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the Japanese government for its support for Taiwan's participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) on Twitter Tuesday

Tsai expressed appreciation for the strong support of the Japanese government.

Tsai said that Taiwan hopes to make positive contributions to health and medical care issues in the international community and will continue to work hard in this regard and never give up.

Tsai has previously tweeted 10 times, in English and Japanese, calling for the international community to support Taiwan's bid to attend this year's conference to be held in Geneva May 22-31.

However, the deadline for online registration expired at 6 a.m. Tuesday Taiwan time and Taipei was unable to register because of Chinese obstruction.

Earlier that day, Yoshihide Suga, Japanese government spokesman and Chief Cabinet Secretary, said at a regular news conference that Tokyo has always supported Taiwan's participation at the WHA as an observer, and that stance will not change.

Suga noted that Taiwan has taken part in the WHA for eight consecutive years since 2009 and Japan has always supported its participation.

When asked about the statement made by a senior official on Monday that Taiwan was denied an invitation to the WHA because it refused to accept the "one China principle," Suga said that the Japanese government was certainly aware of China's insistence on issues related to "one China."

Nevertheless, he said Japan's long-standing position has been that issues relating to Taiwan should be peacefully resolved through dialogue between those involved.

Earlier in the day the Presidential Office expressed "deep regret and dissatisfaction" over Taiwan's exclusion from this year's WHA meeting, saying that such an act runs counter to the purpose of the World Health Organization (WHO) and will have an negative impact on global efforts at disease prevention.

Taipei also thanked the United States, Japan, Canada and like-minded allies and countries in Europe and international groups that have provided support and assistance in Taiwan's efforts to take part in the upcoming WHA session.

The exclusion is the latest move by China to minimize Taiwan's international participation, a strategy that has become more overt since Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party, which is less conciliatory toward China, took power in May 2016.