Japanese group to visit
Japanese lawmaker Shinjiro Koizumi, who heads the largest faction within Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Monday for a four-day visit, the Taipei-based Association of East Asian Relations said yesterday. Koizumi will be leading a delegation of 97, one of the largest to visit in the past decade, and is to visit the National Palace Museum and the 921 Earthquake Museum, the association said. The 32-year-old lawmaker, who was elected to Japan’s lower house in 2009, is the second son of former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and has been the head of his party’s youth division since 2011. Shinjinro Koizumi, who played baseball in high school, and association head Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) are also scheduled to attend a Chinese Professional Baseball League game on Tuesday in New Taipei City (新北市), where Koizumi is to throw the first pitch, the association said.
Indonesia attracts Taiwanese
Travelers from Taiwan are the fifth-largest group among foreign visitors attracted to Indonesia for value-for-money trips, according to credit card company Visa Inc. Indonesia is a top destination for budget-conscious tourists, said a survey released by Visa Worldwide Indonesia on Thursday, which also said that 5 percent of these visitors are from Taiwan. Malaysians accounted for the largest group — 22 percent — among the 12,631 foreign visitors surveyed between November and December by Visa, and travelers from Singapore and Australia followed closely at 21 percent and 20 percent respectively. Saudi Arabia placed fourth in the survey. Taiwanese also ranked among the top-10 nationalities visiting the Indonesian capital Jakarta and the country’s most popular tourist spot, Bali, according to local government statistics. Indonesia recorded 8.04 million foreign tourists last year, with Jakarta seeing 4,000 to 6,000 Taiwanese visitors per month, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency.
Ang Lee to head awards jury
Two-time Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee (李安) is to head the jury on the 50th anniversary of the Golden Horse Awards, the most prestigious film awards in the Chinese-speaking world. The director will return to Taiwan for two weeks to review the nominated films, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival executive committee said. “I’m very honored to be invited to lead the jury at the 50th Golden Horse Awards,” Lee said in a statement. He pledged to do his best to coordinate the opinions of the judges and express his own views. The Golden Horse Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 23 in Taipei. Taiwanese heavyweight directors Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) and renowned Hong Kong director Johnnie To (杜琪鋒) will also play major roles at this year’s festival.
Berlin Philharmonic to visit
Fans of the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic will once again be treated to an enthralling evening when the German orchestra performs in Taiwan in November on its third visit to the country. The Berlin Philharmonic, led by chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle of Britain, will give two concerts at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, according to the Management of New Arts (MNA), which is organizing the events. Taiwan will be the first leg of the orchestra’s Asian tour.