A pro-Taiwan Japanese journalist and a former navy rear admiral said yesterday that they would endorse Taiwan as an independent country. \nThe pair told a forum in Taipei that Japan would support Taiwan if there is a cross-strait war, although it would be impossible for Tokyo to despatch troops to help defend Taiwan. \n"I definitely support the idea of Taiwan independence and I believe that many Japanese people feel the same," said Kazuhiko Inoue, senior producer of Japan's Sky Perfect TV. \nHe made his remarks during the "International Symposium on Pre-sent and Perspective of Asian Security," held by the Taiwan National Security Institute at the Grand Hotel yesterday. \nInoue is a military affairs journalist who has studied the relations between China, Taiwan, Japan and the US for more than 10 years. \n"If peace is not maintained in the [Taiwan] Strait, the Japanese will not be able to enjoy the prosperous economic growth that they are enjoying today," he said. "Japan and Taiwan are on the same boat." \n"Taiwan's ability to maintain the peace in the Strait fits Japan's needs indeed," said retired admiral Hideaki Kaneda, another speaker at the forum. \nNearly 200 participants, most of them retirement age, attended the six-hour-long seminar. \nBoth Kaneda and Inoue believe that China will not launch a war against Taiwan. \nBoth focused on analyzing the regional military deployment of China, Taiwan, Japan and the US. However, the audience appeared more interested in knowing if the Japanese would support Taiwan as an independent country and if Japan would help Taiwan in case of a cross-strait war. \n"Currently it is quite impossible for Japan to assign its military troops to help Taiwan if there is a war. But we would definitely mentally support Taiwan anyway," Inoue said. \nAsked whether Japan would support Taiwan if Taipei restarted its nuclear weapons program, Inoue became more cautious. \n"The Japanese are quite sensitive to certain words, such as war and atomic bombs," he said. \n"We hate war. I cannot comment on behalf of my government, but I am quite sure that we will not support any development of nuclear weapons," he said. \nInoue and Kaneda tried to persuade the audience that it was not necessary to fear China's military even though it has large numbers of aircraft, ships, weapons and personnel. \n"The Chinese are still using lots of Russian weapons," Inoue said. "Most Russian factories are suffering money problems so the Chinese military is having a hard time trying to maintain their weapons. That is the most serious problem." \nAccording to him, the Chinese government's "one child" policy has created a serious problem for the military because no parents want to sacrifice a child for a war, especially when they have only one and especially when that child is male. \n"When there is a war, most parents will try everything they can to help their only sons avoid potential deaths on the battle field. For those soldiers, they will do whatever it takes to avoid battles because they know that they are their parents' hopes," Inoue said. "Under these circumstances, do you think they will try their best, even sacrifice themselves, for their country if necessary?"
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the