Immigration service open
While most government agencies will be closed for the Lunar New Year holiday from yesterday through Sunday next week, National Immigration Agency (NIA) offices at the nation’s international airports will remain open to assist foreign residents or visitors, the agency said in a press release yesterday. Foreigners who lost their passports or have overstayed their visa can report to NIA offices to process their case. However, holders of alien resident certificates wishing to extend their residency have to wait until the first business day after the holiday — Jan. 30, it said. For more information, visit the www.immigration.gov.tw Web site or call 0800-024-111, a toll-free hotline for foreigners.
Chinese investment up
Chinese companies have invested NT$5.53 billion (US$184 million) in Taiwan since the government eased restrictions three years ago, the Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement yesterday. It added that the government would step up investment promotion efforts and review and improve related policies and policy execution to attract more Chinese companies to invest. As of the end of last year, a total of 204 Chinese enterprises had been allowed to set up branches or invest in companies in Taiwan, the council said. Taiwan allowed Chinese capital to invest in 192 business categories in 2009. The market was further opened in May 2010 and in March last year, bringing the total number of categories in which Chinese capital is allowed to invest to 247, it said.
Memorial held for student
Family members and friends of Lin Chih-ying (林芷瀅), a 23-year-old woman who was murdered in Japan, held a tearful memorial service for her in her hometown in Greater Taichung yesterday. Lin’s boyfriend, only known by his surname, Wen (溫), presented a wreath of flowers to pay his respects and included a note that read: “God will look after you.” The ceremony was held at a church, and the minister paid homage to Lin by displaying photos of her with family and friends from special moments throughout her life, bringing tears to those attending the service. Lin and another Taiwanese student, Julia Chu (朱立婕), were studying at a language school in Tokyo when they were murdered in their dorm room on Jan. 5. The main suspect in the case, identified as Chang Chih-yang (張志揚) from Taiwan, slashed his neck with a knife and bled to death on Jan. 9 while in police custody after he was tracked down by police at a theater in Nagoya.
Film locations opened
Two movie locations in Greater Kaohsiung that have been transformed into entertainment venues opened on Friday in a bid to combine tourism and movie marketing. The Southern Precinct and the Seafront Bar are areas of the fictional Harbor City that feature in this year’s crime movie Black and White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault (痞子英雄首部曲：全面開戰), which was based on the TV series Black and White (痞子英雄). The movie and TV show were directed by filmmaker Tsai Yueh-hsun (蔡岳勳), who won the best director award at the 2009 Golden Bell Awards for the TV series. Movie fans can enter the precinct, where a scene from the film has been recreated using a life-size wax figure of a central character. Visitors to the venue can participate in interactive games to help solve a case using forensics, view an exhibition of stage props and visit a 3D movie theater. The Greater Kaohsiung Government was one of movie’s main sponsors.