Nanking loses prominence
The "Rape of Nanking" will no longer feature prominently in the nation's revised history textbooks, a newspaper said yesterday. The Chinese-language United Evening News said that in the new versions of history textbooks, which no longer consider China's history to be national history, only passing references are made to the massacre. A textbook from one publish-ing house does not mention the World War II atrocities committed by the Japanese in China, while textbooks from four other publishers only make a brief reference to it. The Ministry of Education decides the content of the textbooks, but they are printed by private publishers. The "Rape of Nanking" refers to the massacre which began after Nanking, then the capital of China, fell to Japanese troops on Dec. 13, 1937. Japanese soldiers carried out acts of rape, execution, arson and looting in and around Nanking that lasted for six weeks. China estimates the total death toll at about 300,000.
Cherry saplings planted
The Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration held a ceremony in the park in Tainan on Saturday to plant 250 cherry saplings donated by a Japanese cherry cultivation association. A tablet commemorating the friendship between Taiwan and Japan was also unveiled. Chimei Group founder Shi Wen-long (許文龍), presidential adviser Huang Kun-hu (黃崑虎) and scores of Japanese businesspeople were present at the ceremony, according to a park spokesman. The Japanese businesspeople performed Japanese folk songs, accompanied by Shi on mandolin, with the aim of creating the atmosphere of cherry blossoms apprecia-tion event in Japan, the spokesman said. National Science Council Deputy Minister Tai Chien (戴謙) said that there were 15 Japanese firms in the park, which has established the closest relationship with Japan among all of the nation's science parks. He said the cherry cultivation association donated the saplings because of a suggestion from Huang and the result will be that people working in the park and local residents will be able to enjoy Japanese cherry blossoms.
Post office posts record
Total postal savings deposits surpassed NT$4 trillion (US$123 billion) last year, marking a record high, according to the latest tallies released by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The statistics showed that total postal savings deposits last year increased by NT$363.8 billion, or 9.9 percent, over 2005. The postal savings system accounted for 15.4 percent of total deposits among all financial institutions in the nation last year, representing a 0.6 percent year-on-year increase, while the total value of postal simple life insurance was NT$830 billion, a decrease of NT$ 23.3 billion, or 2.7 percent, compared with the previous year. The value of money orders transferred by postal services reached NT$1,491.1 billion, posting an increase of NT$85.8 billion, or 6.1 percent, year-on-year. Meanwhile, a total of 17.9 million postal parcels were delivered last year, or 49,000 parcels on average per day. This represents a 13.5 percent growth over the previous year, marking the fourth consecutive yearly rise. One area did see a decline. The number of letters posted reached 2.66 billion, or an average of 7.3 million per day.