Akie Abe, the widow of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, attends a speaking event at the Tohoku Juvenile Training School in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Nov. 7, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Akie Abe, the widow of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will attend Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te's inauguration ceremony next month, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker said Monday.

Lin Chu-yin, a member of the territory's Legislative Yuan, said on a social media post that Abe's upcoming participation in the ceremony reflects the relationship between Taiwan and Japan as "family members and brothers."

Lin also posted photos of herself and other DPP lawmakers with Akie Abe during their visit to a family grave where Shinzo Abe's remains are interred.

The former Japanese leader is known in Taiwan for his claim that "any emergency surrounding Taiwan would also be an emergency for Japan."

Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated by a lone gunman during an election campaign speech in July 2022 after stepping down as premier in 2020. Lai, the incumbent Taiwan vice president, attended a private funeral for Abe held at a Tokyo Buddhist temple.

Mainland China, which views self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, has condemned Lai as an independence advocate. Both sides have been governed separately since they split in 1949 due to a civil war.

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