Reiterating the government's commitment to dedicate 2005 as "Marine Year in Taiwan," President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday expressed the hope that the public would work together with the government to further cultivate the nation's marine culture.
"Next year is `Marine Year in Taiwan,'" Chen said. "I hope that, through promotion and participation from both civil groups and the government, we will be able to explore and develop more international exchanges on maritime culture and arts with other marine nations."
Chen made the remarks while presiding over the inauguration of the Yang Ming Marine Culture and Art Museum in Keelung.
He said the museum would help to develop and enrich the nation's marine culture.
Chen said the government will soon take steps to upgrade the Maritime Affairs Preparatory Committee to allow it to serve as the main body for integrating cross-ministerial polices and measures on marine issues.
He said the Executive Yuan would soon map out a national agenda on marine policy to improve Taiwan's marine environment, develop the country into an optimal marine nation and promote the marine industry.
The art museum was funded by Yang Ming Marine Transport and was constructed on the site of the company's branch office in Keelung. The museum features a 3D movie theater, various zones dedicated to different marine issues, a bookstore, a coffee shop and a family playground.
It is slated to open for a two-week trial period today, with free entry. It will be formally opened on Jan. 15. Tickets will cost NT$100 per person.