Taiwan mourns former leader

People in Taiwan have mourned the death of the island's first democratically elected leader at a funeral bier set up in Taipei on Saturday.

Lee Teng-hui died of multiple organ failure on Thursday at the age of 97, after bringing full democracy to Taiwan.

President Tsai Ing-wen was among those who paid their respects.

Mourners laid flowers and said prayers in front of Lee's photo, while his favorite Japanese song "Sen no Kaze ni Natte" was played.

Izumi Hiroyasu, head of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, which is Japan's window organization in Taiwan, said it is regretful that a person who was so important for Japan and Taiwan had passed away.

He said Lee was a great politician who laid the foundation for freedom and democracy in Taiwan.

A man in his 40's said the freedom to speak critically of society and politics was not won easily, and that Taiwan owes much to Lee. He said his death is difficult to accept.

Books of condolences will be made available at Taiwan's window organizations in Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa prefectures from Monday to Friday.