President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) expressed concern and sympathy for the people of Japan yesterday after the country was hit by a strong typhoon and a series of earthquakes in the past week. \nChen extended his regards on behalf of the Taiwanese government and people while meeting with Hisaoki Kamei, a member of the lower house of the Japanese Diet. \nTyphoon Tokage pounded much of Japan Oct. 20, leaving at least 66 dead and 22 missing; and a magnitude 6.8 earthquake and a series of aftershocks shook Niigata Prefecture over the week-end, resulting in 25 deaths and over 2,200 injuries. \nChen took advantage of his meeting with Kamei to express his condolences to the families who have lost members to the disasters or have had to seek shelter. \nBoth Taiwan and Japan are located in earthquake-prone areas and face the threat of typhoons, Chen said, adding that he hopes the two countries can cooperate in research on natural disaster prevention and post-disaster reconstruction technologies. \nTouching on bilateral rela-tions, Chen said he looks forward to seeing Taiwanese tourists enjoy visa-free treatment by Japan starting from next year. \nIn the face of China's strong attraction of foreign investment, Chen said Taiwan and Japan should sign a free-trade agreement as early as possible to prevent a regional trade imbalance. \nChen said he is convinced a Taiwan-Japan free trade agreement would benefit both sides and contribute to the free flow of capital, goods and information as well as help regional economic prosperity. \nChen also expressed his gratitude for Kamei's long-term efforts in promoting friendship and substantive relations between Tai-wan and Japan. \nKamei, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, founded a pro-Taiwan association in Shimane prefecture four years ago to promote commercial and cultural exchanges. He is heading a large delegation of association members on a goodwill visit to Taiwan.
CLASSES HALTED: Cram schools have had to return tuition fees due to mandatory closures and might need to lay off half of their staff because of a lack of revenue The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the education sector, with some cram schools and tutoring centers saying they might soon be unable to pay their instructors due to the extension of a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert. The heightened alert level means schools must remain closed, so cram schools and tutoring centers have had to return tuition fees, one cram school said. June is normally the peak season for recruiting new students at cram schools and tutoring centers, but this year many such schools might need to lay off half of their staff due to a lack of
A student at National Chengchi University jumped from the roof of his apartment in the early hours of Sunday after he was allegedly bullied online. The 21-year-old student, surnamed Huang (黃), on Friday last week posted on the university’s online discussion forum asking the public to judge a dispute he was having with a female roommate about rent. An anonymous post on the online forum Dcard appeared on the same day, saying he was the last person to judge others, and that he was “a heavy smoker, lazy, a terrible group member for class projects and a person with a poor
While the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is being touted as a treatment for COVID-19 in many parts of the world, Taiwanese experts on Monday warned against regular use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment, citing a lack of solid evidence. “Following an experts’ meeting, we do not recommend regular use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 due to the lack of enough evidence,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) expert advisory panel. A report in the American Journal of Therapeutics said that meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients had found large,
A person who was on Friday reported as the first in Taiwan to die after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine died of a heart attack, a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) official said yesterday. The deceased, whose sex and age were not disclosed, had coronary artery disease, which led to a fatal heart attack, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman, told a news conference, citing the autopsy report. It was the first death listed as a possible adverse event after receiving the AstraZenenca COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the vaccination program on March 22. The