Taiwan opposition chief visits Japan despite islands row
TAIPEI (AFP) - The head of Taiwan's main opposition party left for Japan Sunday on a goodwill visit despite a sovereignty dispute over islands in the East China Sea.
Su Tseng-chang, chairman of the China-sceptic and Tokyo-friendly Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was making his first foreign trip since being elected party leader last May.
"We give priority to Japan, as it is a crucial neighbouring country of Taiwan and has maintained a longstanding friendly relationship with Taipei," the party said in a statement.
China, Taiwan and Japan dispute the sovereignty of the islands known as the Diaoyu islands in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. Last month a boatload of Taiwanese activists protected by coastguards sailed to waters off the islands. Coastguards from the two sides converged and duelled with water cannon.