Yoshiro Mori visits Taiwan
Former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori arrived in Taiwan yesterday for a two-day private visit, the third former Japanese prime minister to visit the country this year, following Taro Aso and Shinzo Abe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. During his stay, Mori will attend the 13th Asian Japanese Rugby Cup to be held in Taipei today and visit the Baojue Buddhist Temple (寶覺禪寺), a shrine dedicated to some Japanese World War II soldiers who fought overseas located in Taichung. Mori, known as his pro-Taiwan position, last visited the country in November 2006, when he was received by then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who conferred upon him the Special Grand Cordon of the Order of the Brilliant Star, incurring the anger of Beijing.
Lee Huan dies at 95
Former premier Lee Huan (李煥) died of cardiopulmonary failure at Taipei Veterans General Hospital late on Thursday at the age of 95. Lee is survived by four children. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華), the second child of the late politician, made the announcement of his father’s passing and said the family would hold a simple funeral without a public memorial ceremony, according to his father’s wishes. Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) immediately extended his condolences to Lee’s family upon being informed of the death. Lee was born in China’s Hubei Province in 1917 and served as premier from 1989 to 1990. He also served as minister of education from 1984 to 1987.
Chinese visa wait shortened
Taiwan’s representative office in Los Angeles has shortened the visa processing time for overseas Chinese nationals intending to visit Taiwan, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles said on Thursday. The new service — currently being provided on a trial basis before it is expanded to other US cities — allows eligible applicants to obtain entry permits to Taiwan within 10 days of application, compared with the usual three to four weeks. The program is aimed at holders of People’s Republic of China passports who have lived overseas for a year or who hold permanent resident status or student visas in a foreign country. According to a TECO immigration clerk, the service has received a warm reception since it was launched on Nov. 8.