Japan's decision to grant visa-free privileges for Taiwanese tourists between March 25 and Sept. 25 will not be subject to any change despite protests from China, a Japanese official said yesterday. \nAkira Chiba, assistant press secretary at Japan's Foreign Ministry, made the remarks after the Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported that Beijing has protested Japan's visa-free decision for Taiwan. \nChiba told journalists that Japan will offer visa-free privileges to Taiwanese tourists during the March-September period, to coincide with an eco-friendly world exposition to be held in the central Japanese prefecture of Aichi. \n"This will not be subject to any change simply because of Beijing's protests," Chiba said. \nJapan plans to allow Taiwanese and South Korean tourists to enter the country without a visa during this year's World Exposition, which is to be held in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, from March 25 to Sept. 25. \n"The Diet session started last Friday and will run until June 15. Some Diet members planned to propose an amendment to a law in order to launch a new visa policy for Taiwanese tourists," an official at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Tokyo said yesterday. \nThe bill could be passed in the middle of next month at the earliest if reviewed in the Diet according to the original schedule, said the official. \nAt present, Japan issues visas only to Chinese tourists from three cities and five provinces. \nDuring the exposition period, however, all Chinese citizens would be allowed to apply for Japanese visas. \nThere is no plan to extend the visa-exempt entry privilege to tourists from China because of concern that they might stay on in Japan, the Yomiuri Shimbun said. \nBeijing protested against the visa policy during a visit by Japanese Transport Minister Kazuo Kitagawa to China last week. Japanese government officials are trying to confirm Beijing's view on the matter, the paper said. \nJapan launched a campaign in 2003 to double the number of incoming tourists to 10 million annually by 2010 from around 5 million, and the exposition is seen as an opportunity to attract more visitors, particularly from other parts of Asia. \nTaiwanese and South Koreans form the two largest groups of tourists to Japan and rarely overstay visas, the paper said. \nThe Japanese government has to amend its Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act to implement a new visa policy for Taiwanese tourists. \nThe law stipulates that visa-exempt entry is only available to Japan's diplomatic allies. Although a significant number of foreign tourists arriving in Japan are from Taiwan and South Korea, Japan cannot lift the present visa restrictions because of the law.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public