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.
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.
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.
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.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up