Premier commemorates Japanese engineer, looks to closer ties with Japan

  • Date: 2018-05-08
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te on Tuesday attended a commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the passing of Yoichi Hatta, the Japanese colonial-era engineer who designed the Wushantou Reservoir and extensive Jianan irrigation project in southern Taiwan. The premier lauded Hatta’s contributions to Taiwan, remarking that the completion of the project allowed for the irrigation of rice paddies throughout Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan, raising productivity, improving the lives of farmers, and enabling economic development.

Hatta lobbied the Japanese colonial government of Taiwan to build the Wushantou Reservoir and Jianan irrigation project in 1918. Construction commenced in 1920 and was completed 10 years later. Once finished, the irrigation system was the third largest in the world and the biggest in Asia.

Premier Lai said that both Taiwan and Japan have experienced disastrous earthquakes in the past, and the two nations provide mutual assistance when such occur. Following the earthquakes in Tainan in 2016 and in Hualien in 2018, Japanese teams travelled to Taiwan to assist, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent his own written words of encouragement in the aftermath of the Hualien quake.

The premier also thanked Japan for supporting Taiwan’s bid to participate in the World Health Assembly and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Such backing is very important for Taiwan, said Premier Lai, expressing hope for ever greater friendship and mutual support between the two countries in the future.