Japan, Taiwan share tea
Six Japanese shared their country’s tea-making rituals and other customs with Taiwanese at an exhibition in Taichung yesterday as a way of saying thanks for Taiwan’s help after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March last year. The Japanese instructors from Okinawa demonstrated cultural traditions related to kimonos, tea, wagashi (a sweet desert) and pottery, said Yukino Obayashi, one of the organizers of the event. As part of their efforts to thank Taiwan for its disaster assistance, the instructors gave visitors a chance to sample freshly made wagashi, participate in Japanese tea-making ceremonies and wear kimonos, Obayashi said. Taiwan donated about ￥20 billion (US$260.6 million) in cash, 90 percent of which came from private donations, to help Japan after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11 last year.
Lung ready to visit China
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said yesterday she is willing to visit China if invited, as her Chinese counterpart came to Taiwan two years ago. Lung made the remark at a press conference held to brief the media on her visit to the US and Canada last month. Asked if she is likely to visit China as culture minister, Lung said her title would first have to be accepted by both sides and the best time for such a visit would be early next year. “I think since [Chinese] Minister of Culture Cai Wu (蔡武) visited two years ago, I should visit him out of courtesy. If Beijing invites me after the legislature approves our  budget in the upcoming session, in November or December, I would be really willing to go.” Lung’s trip to the US and Canada was aimed at promoting cultural exchanges and Taiwan’s role in the international community.
Hau invites Paris mayor
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said he has invited Jean-Pierre Lecoq, the mayor of the 6th District of Paris, to attend the opening ceremony of a cultural park in Taipei in April next year. Hau, currently on a visit in France, held a dinner meeting with Lecoq in Paris on Monday. He said he hoped the two cities could conduct more exchanges in the fields of education and trade. France is the first stop on Hau’s 11-day trip to Europe, during which he will also visit Finland and England to learn from their experiences in holding large-scale events ahead of the 2017 Universiade in Taipei. In response to Hau’s invitation, Lecoq said he was well-informed about Taiwan and was willing to visit the country next year.
Seven detained for fishing
Seven crew members of a Chinese fishing boat were taken into custody for questioning after trespassing into Taiwan’s waters, the Coast Guard Administration said. The Chinese boat was discovered fishing illegally about 12km off Miaoli County, a coast guard team based in Greater Taichung said. Coast guard officials arrived at the scene at about 3:20am on a patrol vessel and boarded the fishing boat for investigation, the team said. The skipper of the fishing boat jumped into the sea in an attempt to escape and threatened to stay in the water until coast guard officials left the scene, the team said. Another patrol boat was dispatched to the scene and seven fishermen were arrested and taken to Taiwan for further investigation, it said. Coast guard team captain Wang Cheng-hsin (王正信) said that since March this year, 177 China-registered boats had been fined a total of NT$21.75 million (US$727,300) in the Greater Taichung area.