Taiwanese flock to Japan
Taiwanese made up the largest number of foreign visitors to Japan in the first half of the year, figures released by the Japan National Tourist Organization on Wednesday showed. Of the record high 6.26 million visitors to Japan in the first six months of the year, 1,391,000 came from Taiwan, up 35.1 percent from the previous year, the government-run agency said. South Korea ranked second with 1,276,000 visitors, down 3.3 percent from last year, it added. China was the third-largest source of foreign visitors with 1,009,200, up by 88.25 percent. Overall, visitor numbers rose by 1.3 million from the first half of last year, which analysts attributed to the yen’s depreciation and increased flights to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Considering the growth in the first half, the total number of international visitors to Japan for the whole year is likely to reach 12 million, the Japan Tourism Agency said.
Spensley to head AIT center
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday said that Alys Spensley had begun her tenure as cultural affairs officer in the Public Diplomacy Section. Spensley concurrently serves as director of the AIT’s American Center, succeeding Robert Ryan, it added. She is responsible for strengthening educational and cultural ties between the US and Taiwan. Spensley previously served in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs as a staff assistant, and as policy and coordination officer in the US Department of State’s Office of Public Diplomacy from 2011 to last year. Prior to that, she served as cultural affairs officer and 2010 expo liaison officer in Shanghai, and was stationed at the US embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. Spensley previously worked as a financial analyst and conducted research in China’s Yunnan Province.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up