Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Losing temper costs Japanese man right to travel to Taiwan

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A Japanese man was given a suspended sentence of 30 days' detention and barred from the country for five years for cursing immigration officials at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in September 2005, aviation police sources said yesterday.

The man, who is married to a Taiwanese woman, often travels between Taiwan and Japan. He became so enraged by what he called the snail-paced immigration inspection at the airport that he burst into a volley of curses when an immigration officer checked his travel documents.

Immigration authorities later filed a lawsuit against him and the Taoyuan District Court handed down its ruling earlier this week.

The court found that the man had violated Article 140 of the Criminal Code, which bans anyone from insulting a public official during the legal discharge of his or her official duties.

Immigration officials said they felt compelled to file the lawsuit to defend the government's "prestige" and "authority." They expressed regret that the man had not shown any remorse and has fought the charges by filing petitions with several agencies.

Huang Chin-huei (黃靜惠), a bureau division chief, said yesterday that the bureau had received complaints from Japanese tourists, but she said she had no recollection of this particular case.

Additional reporting by Shelley Shan

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