Japanese to hold memorial
A group of Japanese living in Taiwan are to hold a memorial on the third anniversary of a devastating earthquake that struck off Tohoku in northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. The event is scheduled for March 11 in Taipei in commemoration of those who died in the massive quake and ensuing tsunami, and to extend thanks to Taiwan for its post-disaster assistance, said Japan’s Interchange Association, which is helping to organize the memorial. A moment of silence will be observed in memory of those who passed away in the disaster, and there will also be singing and dancing, according to the organizers. The magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people, mainly in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in northeastern Japan. In the wake of the disaster, Taiwan donated about ￥20 billion (US$195 million) in aid, more than any other single country.
Visually impaired join run
About 36,000 runners, 200 of them visually impaired, participated yesterday in a charity marathon in Taipei, sponsored for the first time in Taiwan by Standard Chartered Bank. This year’s Taipei Standard Chartered Charity Marathon started at the Presidential Office Plaza and finished at the Dajia Riverside Park. Kenyan runners Moses Kiptoo Kurgat and Mercy Jelimo Too won the men and women’s marathons, clocking 2 hours, 16 minutes and 21 seconds and 2 hours, 34 minutes and 54 seconds respectively. They each received NT$200,000. The event also included a half-marathon, a 8.5km race, a 3km fun run and a 1km children’s dash. Standard Chartered said it would donate NT$15 million to helping visually impaired people find jobs and assisting with a worldwide program for preventable blindness.
‘Gap Year’ contest to start
Young Taiwanese with a love for traveling are being enticed to compete for an all-expenses paid one-year stay in Queensland, Australia. Aiming to duplicate the nation’s successful “Best Job in the World” campaign, Queensland’s Department of State Development, Trade and Innovation has launched the “Ultimate Gap Year” contest to promote the state’s education, tourism and working environment. The winner gets a package worth AU$25,000 (US$22,400), which includes a working holiday visa, round-trip plane tickets, domestic airplane tickets, a 16-week education program, 48 weeks accommodation, year-long insurance and a half-year internship at local businesses. Taiwan is among five countries where the contest will be held. A winner will be chosen from each country, the organizers said, adding that interested applicants between 18 and 30 should upload a 60-second film in English of themselves promoting Queensland. Applications will be accepted from March 7.
Dengue fever warning issued
Travelers should take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites while traveling in Southeast Asia, where dengue fever cases have spiked, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said. This year, dengue fever outbreaks in Southeast Asia have been worse than last year, especially in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said. Taiwan has recorded 21 imported cases of dengue fever since the start of this year, with nine from Indonesia, six from Malaysia, three from the Philippines, two from Singapore and one from Cambodia.