Fri, Mar 25, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

DISASTER

Taiwanese among the dead

A Taiwanese expatriate living in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, has been identified as one of the victims claimed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Taipei-based Association of East Asian Relations said on Wednesday. Huang Ming-lang (黃明朗), the secretary-general of the organization established to handle Taiwan-Japan exchanges in the absence of diplomatic ties, said the Taiwanese victim was only identified by her surname, Lee (李), citing information provided by Taiwan’s representative office in Japan. The 81-year-old woman was married to a doctor surnamed Chang (張). However, as of Wednesday evening, no details had been released on how long she had lived in Japan, or how she ended up taking residency there. Her daughter, who lives in Tokyo, went to Miyagi to identify the body. She handled the cremation of her mother’s remains late on Wednesday, Huang said. The daughter has asked the office to help deliver her mother’s ashes to Taiwan.

HEALTH

Mail from Japan to be tested

Mail and parcels from Tokyo are now required to undergo inspection for radiation levels both in Japan and Taiwan and will be intercepted if the inspections reveal abnormal readings, Taiwan’s state postal company said yesterday. According to Chunghwa Post Co president Hu Hsueh-yun (胡雪雲), his company was notified by Japan’s postal authorities on Sunday that all mail and parcels in Tokyo had to pass a radiation inspection. To be extra cautious, the company began to inspect the radiation levels in mail and parcels from Japan on Tuesday, Hu said, adding that no abnormalities have been detected. Hu said the company would make sure that no radiation-contaminated mail or parcels are delivered.

JUSTICE

Executions to continue: Ma

Taiwan will continue to carry out executions of death row inmates as the country’s laws mandate, but the government has worked toward reducing the use of capital punishment, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday. The government’s policy, he said, is to phase out the use of capital punishment through existing laws and regulations. However, death-penalty convictions should still be carried out in accordance with the law. His remarks came after Beverley Wakem, president of the International Ombudsman Institute, said at a Control Yuan seminar that some countries were violating human rights by implementing the death penalty. Ma reiterated that Taiwan was dedicated to human rights protection. Taiwan resumed executions in April last year, ending an unofficial moratorium that had existed since 2005. Earlier this month, the government carried out five executions, drawing protests from the EU and human rights groups. There are still 41 prisoners awaiting execution in the country’s penal system.

TRAVEL

US fines Taiwan passenger

A Taiwanese passenger carrying bottles of cough syrup was stopped and fined by a customs officer at a US airport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. It turned out that the syrup contained opium, and was therefore deemed illegal by the customs security agents, Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達), director-general of the ministry’s Department of North American Affairs, told reporters at a regular press briefing. The bottles were confiscated and the passenger was fined US$500, Linghu said. Travelers are urged to check with relevant authorities for restricted and prohibited items before traveling, Linghu said.

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