Japanese mascot to visit fest
The popular Japanese mascot “Funassyi,” the pear fairy, is set to greet fans with its signature spirited jumps at the Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival next month. The yellow pear-shaped mascot, who topped a ranking of the favorite character mascots in Japan last year, will appear at the festival on Feb. 6, said Top-Insight International Co, the Taiwanese publisher that invited the mascot. “Funassyi” is the promotional mascot for Funabashi in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture. It is known for its high-pitched voice, jumps and energetic personality. It has close to 500,000 followers on Twitter and has appeared on highly rated Japanese TV programs such as the Red and White Year-End Song Festival. The second Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival is to run from Tuesday to Saturday next week at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall. It is scheduled to feature more than 50 graphic artists, voice actors and authors from Taiwan and Japan.
NIA touts foreigners hotline
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) is encouraging more foreign nationals and spouses to take advantage of a multilingual hotline service launched earlier this year, to help improve their quality of life. The new service consolidates two hotlines for foreign spouses and foreigners, and is part of the agency’s efforts to enhance service quality and improve efficiency. A group of new immigrants are manning the hotlines, providing consultations in seven languages: Mandarin, English, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai and Cambodian, according to the agency. Since the hotline began operating on Jan. 1, staff have offered consultations in a wide range of fields, including visa issues and finding temporary accommodation for pets while away, the agency said. The hotline — 0800-024-111 — provides a 24-hour service every day of the year, the agency said.
Temperatures set to drop
The Central Weather Bureau forecast a temperature drop of between 6?C and 7?C as the result of the arrival of a cold front. Showers and daytime temperatures of about 18?C to 19?C were expected in the north and in Yilan County. The mercury in Hualien and Taitung counties, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, will hover at about 22?C to 25?C, the bureau said. However, the temperature will vary more than 11?C from day to night in western and northeastern Taiwan and 15?C in Hualien and Taitung counties, according to the bureau. Meanwhile, poor air quality was reported yesterday in central and southern Taiwan as a high level of particulates was being carried by wind, the Environmental Protection Administration said.
Avril Lavigne sets concert
Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne is set to visit Taiwan for the fourth time to hold a concert in March. The Girlfriend singer will perform in Taipei on March 16, said If Entertainment, one of the concert organizers. The concert was originally scheduled to take place at the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park, but organizers said recently they are re-evaluating the venue and will announce the location for the concert later. Ticket sales have also been postponed, but the concert will proceed as scheduled in March, it said.