Legislature opening date set
The next legislative session will start on Sept. 13, Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday. He made the announcement after presiding over a cross-party consultative meeting of caucus whips. "Party whips from across the political spectrum have unanimously agreed that the next legislative session will formally open Sept. 13 after legislators report for duty Sept. 1 in accordance with constitutional provisions," Wang said. Once the session begins, all Cabinet members must field questions at the legislative plenary session. The party caucuses also agreed that lawmakers will pick one day every two weeks to screen legislative bills related to the people's livelihood, Wang said.
Lawmakers to visit Japan
A delegation from the legislature's National Defense Committee is scheduled to leave for Japan on Monday for a four-day visit. However, People First Party (PFP) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said yesterday that he decided not to go when he learned of the group's schedule, which was arranged by the Ministry of National Defense. The schedule has become controversial because the delegation is due to meet with several officials, including former justice minister Nagano Shigeto. In May 1994, Shigeto said Japan did not invade Asia, the Rape of Nanjing was a fabrication and that comfort women were simply prostitutes. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) said he's still going because he is curious to know "exactly what the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration is doing with the Japanese government." DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) said that he wasn't going to pass up the rare opportunity to exchange views with Japanese military personnel simply because of one controversial figure.
■ Cross-strait ties
China repatriates suspects
China has deported two criminal suspects to Taiwan, as Guandong Province police vowed to prevent the province from becoming a haven for overseas criminals, state media reported yesterday. The two men were sent back to Taiwan on Tuesday, the China Daily reported. One of them, surnamed Kuo, wanted on suspicion of murder in Taiwan, was detained after stealing a motorcycle in Dongguan in February. The other, surnamed Chiu, suspected of raping a young girl in Taiwan, was detained July 21, the report said. "Guangdong will never become a haven for criminals from home or abroad," a provincial police official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Sci-tech strategy promoted
Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that experts' recommendations at a science and technology strategy meeting will be adopted to improve living standards. Speaking at the closing ceremony of this year's Strategic Review Board meeting, Hsieh said that if all government offices can change to white-light LED products within 10 years, Taiwan will be in a better position to tell the world that it has been implementing the Kyoto Protocol. He said the government will work harder to train scientific manpower, coordinate research, promote the application of science and technology in daily life and identify strategies to help commercialize research results. He said sci-tech spending will rise next year even as the total budget goes down.