Japan Post, the world's biggest savings bank, will start paying taxes after it's sold off in April 2007, said Heizo Takenaka, the minister overseeing the breakup and sale of the state-run company. \n"It's important for Japan Post to start on the same footing as other private companies," Takenaka said on Asahi Television's Sunday Project program. "We want to give Japan Post as much freedom and responsibility as we can." \nTaxes from Japan Post would help add to government revenue. Japan's national debt, the highest in the world, expanded 3.7 percent to ?729.23 trillion (US$6.6 trillion) in the three months ended June 30 from the previous quarter, the Ministry of Finance said last month. \nThe government plans to subject Japan Post to the same tax laws as private companies and the nation's Financial Services Agency will also begin inspections, Takenaka said. \n"It will help us to understand the scale of Japan Post's bad loans," he said. \nJapanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wants to break up Japan Post into four separate businesses under a holding company to handle mail delivery, insurance, postal savings and management of the network of post offices. \nKoizumi is also aiming to curb use of ?350 trillion in postal savings to fund public works projects and free up more money for financing businesses. That would help banks and insurers compete against Japan Post, which has about 25,000 branches. \nTakenaka repeated government concerns about a sustained increase in crude-oil prices threatening economic recovery in Japan. "We need to carefully watch the movement" of oil prices, he said.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.