Photographer wins awards
Taiwanese photographer Tzeng Chin-fa (曾進發) won nine awards, including two golds, at the Moscow International Foto Awards on Monday. Tzeng, from Miaoli County, on Tuesday said that a photograph of his 90-year-old mother using an old sewing machine won a gold award in the people and culture category. The image was part of his series Traditional Cultural Skills In Disappearance, which also features people preparing traditional food, weaving and performing a traditional face-threading treatment. His other gold-winning photo was of a couple, dressed in wedding outfits, standing at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan. Tzeng also won five silver and two bronze awards at the contest. Last year, he won 28 prizes at the awards, the most among Taiwanese competitors.
Passport ranks 31st
Taiwan’s passport ranked 31st on a list of the world’s most “powerful” passports, offering its holders visa-free access to 146 destinations, according to the Henley Passport Index for the third quarter issued on Wednesday. Taiwan moved up one spot from the second quarter, the latest survey by British consulting firm Henley & Partners showed. The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. The passports were ranked based on the number of destinations to which they give holders visa-free access. Taiwan shared 31st with Mauritius and Saint Lucia. Japan remained No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year, with holders of its passport having access to 193 destinations without a visa, followed by Singapore with access to 192 locations, and South Korea and Germany tied at third with 191, the survey showed.
Fukuhara finalizes divorce
Japanese table tennis star Ai Fukuhara and her Taiwanese husband, table tennis player Chiang Hung-chieh (江宏傑), on Thursday formally announced their divorce, bringing an end to their four-year marriage. In a statement released by their management company, HIM International Music, the pair said they had finalized divorce proceedings and agreed to joint custody of their two children. The high-profile couple, both 32, married in Tokyo in 2016. They have a three-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. Fukuhara, a two-time Olympic medal winner, retired from competitive table tennis in 2018 following the birth of her daughter. She was Japan’s top female table tennis player and at one point ranked world No. 4.
Institute signs MOU
The Institute for National Defense and Security Research signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Czech think tank to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on research in security and national defense, it said on Wednesday. The institute, established by the Ministry of National Defense, said in a statement that it signed the MOU on June 30 in a virtual ceremony with the Czech Republic’s European Values Center for Security Policy (EVC). Representatives from the two think tanks who attended the ceremony included institute chief executive Lin Chen-wei (林成蔚) and deputy chief executives Po Hung-hui (柏鴻輝) and Ou Hsi-fu (歐錫富), as well as EVC director Jakub Janda and Richard Kraemer, head of its Taiwan office that is to open in Taipei, the statement said. Janda said that Taiwan and the Czech Republic have common values of democracy, and the EVC would share European perspectives with the institute to deepen bilateral cooperation.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in