Wed, May 19, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pro-independence activist to head mission in Japan

By Lin Chieh-yu and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Independence activist Koh Se-kai (許世楷) will succeed Lo Fu-cheng (羅福全) as Taiwan's top diplomat in Japan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) said yesterday.

Koh met yesterday with former Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara, who is leading a delegation to attend President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) inauguration.

Koh, a law and political science professor at Formosa University, has also been invited by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to join the Presidential Office's human rights task force.

Mark Chen disclosed the upcoming appointment when receiving foreign guests at the CKS Airport yesterday for Chen Shui-bian's upcoming inauguration.

Koh was born in 1934 and earned a doctorate at Tokyo University.

A senior leader of the nation's independence movement, he was elected chairman of the World United Formosans for Independence in 1987 and chairman of the Taiwan Independence Party in 1998.

"Koh, Lo and Minister Chen are all comrades in fighting for Taiwan's democracy. They were all members of Formosans for Independence," said Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂), the current chairman of the group.

"I think that Koh's priority is to realize a public meeting of high-ranking Taiwanese and Japanese officials as soon as possible," Ng said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet said yesterday that outgoing minister of economic affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) accepted an offer to take up the vacancy for the last of the Cabinet's seven ministers without portfolio. Lin will be in charge of reviewing bills and projects related to finance and economics.

The managing director of the Cabinet's Aviation Safety Council, Yong Kay (戎凱), will be appointed to chair the proposed National Communications Commission (NCC).

Once the legislature gives the establishment of the NCC the go-ahead, the long-anticipated agency will be established under the Executive Yuan as an independent entity to supervise the nation's telecommunications and media industries.

Currently, the media industry is regulated by the Government Information Office (GIO), while the telecommunications industry falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of National Defense.

In appointments of No. 2 positions at Cabinet agencies, Lee Ruey-tsang (李瑞倉), director-general of the National Property Bureau under the Ministry of Finance, will become the administrative vice minister.

Thomas Yeh (葉明峰), director of the Cabinet's fourth division in charge of finance and economics, will be promoted to vice chairman of the Council of Economic Planning and Development (CEPD). Yeh used to serve as the secretary-general of the CEPD.

Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), vice chairman of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, will take up the position of deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).

Yang Tzu-pao (楊子葆), secretary-general of the International Cooperation and Development Fund under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will become the vice chairman of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission.

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