Taiwan, Japan to collaborate
Taiwan and Japan yesterday signed an agreement to share information on disasters caused by earthquakes, typhoons and landslides and exchange opinions on landslide prevention measures and on post-disaster reconstruction experiences. The agreement was signed by Taiwan’s East Asian Relations Commission Chairman Peng Run-tsu (彭榮次) and Hatakenaka Atushi, chairman of the Japan’s Interchange Association, in Taipei. Authorities in charge of disaster prevention are entitled to make contact with each other to collect related information. Both countries will dispatch experts to the other’s territory to conduct research, attend conferences and to develop technologies in the areas.
Cadets graduate in Honduras
Three cadets from Taiwan graduated from Honduran military academies recently with remarkable academic performances, Taiwan’s embassy in Honduras said yesterday. Tien Chien-min (田健民), Chang Shuo-fang (張碩峰) and Chi Fei (齊飛) were among 89 military school graduates who were awarded bachelor degrees and the rank of second lieutenant or ensign during a ceremony on Wednesday, the embassy said. Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, who presided at the graduation ceremony, congratulated the new officers on their achievements and praised the Taiwanese graduates for their outstanding performance. He also expressed hope that the Taiwanese graduates would help in the future to promote military interactions between Taiwan and Honduras.
Pilfered goods returned
Ten years after stealing a cup, a blanket and a set of dining utensils from a Cathay Pacific plane, the repentant passenger sent them back to the airline, along with NT$900, airline sources said on Thursday. The airline’s Kaohsiung office received the package on July 19, but as they were unable to contact the sender, who called himself Chiu Chan-ho (邱禪荷), they initially did not open it. Finally, one staffer’s curiosity got the better of her and she opened the package. Lee Hsiung-ta (李雄達), a manager in charge of the carrier’s business in southern Taiwan, speculated that Chiu might be a frequent flyer who took the objects some time ago and was now sending them back after being struck with remorse. Lee said all the items were no longer in production and could be seen as collector’s items. Since the staff could not reach the sender, they decided to donate that NT$900 “interest payment” to the UN Children’s Fund.
Taipei Metropolis proposed
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday submitted a proposal to have Taipei City, Taipei County and Keelung merged into a single administrative district in a bid to improve Taiwan’s international competitiveness. KMT Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) said the merger was originally part of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign platform in early 2008, but never materialized for a variety of reasons. Taipei County will be upgraded to a municipality and renamed Sinbei City on Dec. 25 — making it part of a twin city with the capital, Taipei, along with the much smaller neighboring Keelung, Hsieh said. If Taipei, Sinbei and Keelung were to be merged, it would have a population of more than 7 million, constituting nearly 30 percent of Taiwan’s population. Such a merger would definitely make the northern area, to be known as the Taipei Metropolis, into a world-class city with high competitiveness, Hsieh said.