Murder probe completed
Japanese police have officially closed the case of the January murder of two Taiwanese students after confirming a Taiwanese man as the killer, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Lin Chih-ying (林芷瀅) and Julia Chu (朱立婕), students at a Japanese language school in Tokyo, were found covered in blood in their dormitory on Jan. 5. One was found dead at the scene of the crime, while the other was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital. Japanese police last month confirmed that Chang Chih-yang (張志揚), also a student at the language school, was the killer, said Huang Ming-lung (黃明朗), secretary-general of the ministry’s Association of East Asian Relations. Chang slashed himself with a knife and bled to death on Jan. 9 while in police custody.
Kaohsiung signs eco-accord
The Greater Kaohsiung Government has agreed to collaborate with a leading international NGO environmental group to establish a training center on sustainability for the group’s East Asian members. Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday signed the agreement with Gino van Begin, deputy secretary-general of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives. The German-based council, dedicated to reducing carbon emissions, has about 1,200 members in more than 70 countries. Kaohsiung joined the organization in 2006. Gino said the facility would help East Asian members improve their ability to adapt to climate change and other problems, including biodiversity and water resource management. Greater Kaohsiung will work hard to be a model city of sustainability in Southeast Asia, as well as an important platform and council partner in Asia, Chen said.
Taiwanese film wins prize
The Taiwanese box-office hit You are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們ㄧ起追的女孩) won in a new category introduced this year at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards, taking the title of “Best Film of Mainland [China] and Taiwan.” The low-budget film is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by popular Taiwanese author Giddens Ko (柯景騰). It beat four other Taiwanese and Chinese blockbusters — The Flowers of War (金陵十 三釵), If You Are the One 2 (非誠勿擾2), Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (賽德克巴萊) and Starry Starry Night (星空) — to win the award. Lead actors Ko Chen-tung (柯震東) and Michelle Chen (陳妍希) attended the ceremony at the Hong Kong Cultural Center.
New records for MRT, trains
Railway and mass rapid transit (MRT) ridership and revenues hit record highs in the first two months of the year, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said on Sunday. Statistics showed that total ridership for the high-speed rail, the regular railway and the MRT systems in Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung reached 147.96 million in January and February, up 7.4 percent from a year earlier. The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp had average daily ridership of 594,000 and 122,000, up 5.5 percent and 9.5 percent respectively, from a year earlier. The Taipei MRT saw ridership rise 6.9 percent to 95.13 million, while the Kaohsiung MRT posted a 10.6 percent increase to 9.54 million. Revenues also rose significantly. The TRA’s January to February revenue rose to a 10-year high of NT$2.7 billion (US$91.47 million). The Taipei MRT had revenue of NT$2.06 billion in the first two months, while the Kaohsiung MRT had revenue of NT$240 million.