Hsinchu station turns 100
A descendant of Japan’s imperial family attended the celebration of the Hsinchu Railway Station’s 100th anniversary yesterday along with Hsinchu Mayor Hsu Ming-tsai (許明財). Tsuneyasu Takeda, who is the great-great-grandson of the Meiji Emperor, described the station as a precious asset that had served the public for a century and said he hoped that Japan and Taiwan could continue their close friendship. Expressing his gratitude to Taiwan for its help after the earthquake and tsunami that battered Japan in 2011, Takeda said he hoped that the Hsinchu Station and Tokyo Station, which will celebrate its 100th birthday next year, could become sister stations to symbolize the countries’ bond.
Rains bring little relief
Recent rains have done little to refill the nation’s depleted reservoirs or ease the water shortages that are increasing around the country, Water Resources Agency Director-General Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said yesterday. Despite rains bringing 15mm to 60mm of precipitation to northwestern Taiwan, Yang said the reservoirs had accumulated limited rainfall because the downpours of the past two days had only lasted briefly and were not concentrated in catchment areas. The Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) in Taoyuan County, which has already begun first-stage water rationing measures, was one of the reservoirs that did get a bit of relief. Yang said the rainfall did help farmers and slighlty reduced agricultural demand for reservoir water, but it was still too early to say how much the precipitation had helped overall water supplies.
Local man missing in China
A Taiwanese man went missing in southern China on Saturday after the boat he was on capsized in the Guilin area, Chinese media reported yesterday. Xinhua news agency said that the boat, carrying 16 tourists, overturned due to rapid currents and skipper error in a river in Guilin’s Guanyan scenic area. Chinese officials confirmed that the boat was on a sightseeing tour in a cave on the river when it suddenly flipped over. The report said 15 people had been rescued, but the Taiwanese man was still unaccounted for. The man, identified by his surname, Hsu (許), was from Jinshan District (金山) in New Taipei City (新北市), and was reportedly in his 60s, the Travel Agent Association of Taiwan said. Preliminary information received by the association indicated that Hu was visiting China with relatives or friends and was not with a tour group. As of yesterday afternoon, rescue efforts were still ongoing.
Taipei hotel prices rising
The average hotel prices paid by Chinese tourists in Taipei were appreciably higher last year than a year earlier because of growing tourist demand, the results of a survey by an online hotel reservation company showed yesterday. The Hotels.com survey found that Chinese tourists paid 10 percent more for hotel rooms in Taipei and 8 percent more for rooms in other places around the country last year than in 2011, Hotels.com senior marketing manager Jessica Chuang (莊佩芙) said. Taiwan was included in the Web site’s Hotel Price Index report for the first time last year because the nation has become a popular destination among Chinese travelers, Chuang said. China is the largest source of foreign tourists in Taiwan, followed by Japan. The survey also found that Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong and Kyoto were Taiwanese travellers’ favorite destinations last year.