The government has received an official notification from Japan on the upcoming state funeral of assassinated former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, and is preparing to attend the event, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
“Our government will continue to be in close talks with Tokyo, and is currently making arrangements and preparations to attend,” ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said, adding that more details are to be announced later.
She did not say who would represent Taiwan at the funeral.
Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday that Tokyo plans to inform Taiwan of the schedule for the Sept. 27 state funeral, despite a lack of an official diplomatic relationship.
Hayashi said the Japanese government would convey the state funeral’s schedule to its diplomatic allies as well as to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Palestine and organizations that sent condolences following Abe’s death.
Japanese media reported at the weekend that Tokyo is preparing “funeral diplomacy” as dignitaries from around the world are expected to visit the country for Abe’s state funeral, to be held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.
About 30 officials from the ministry’s preparatory office are arranging a series of meetings with world leaders, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Japanese Cabinet officials on the occasion of Abe’s funeral, reports said.
Abe, the longest-serving prime minister in Japan, died on July 8 at the age of 67 after he was shot twice that morning while giving a campaign speech on a street in Nara City.
Police arrested a 41-year-old male suspect, who had allegedly shot Abe with a homemade shotgun at the campaign event for the House of Councilors elections held on July 10.
A private funeral service for Abe on July 12 at Zojoji in Tokyo was attended by Vice President William Lai (賴清德) in a private capacity, along with other foreign dignitaries, and Abe’s family members and close acquaintances.
Lai’s trip to Japan for the private funeral made him Taiwan’s second sitting vice president to visit that country since 1972, when Tokyo severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in favor of Beijing.
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who died in 2020, made a one-night stopover in Tokyo on his return to Taiwan from a tour of Taiwan’s Central and South American allies in March 1985, when he was vice president.
Abe was a vocal supporter of Taiwan, and he helped strengthen relations between the two countries during his tenure as prime minister and after leaving public office.
On July 11, national flags at all Taiwan government agencies and public schools were flown at half-mast in a show of respect for Abe.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
‘ORDINARY PEOPLE’: A man watching Taiwanese military drills said that there would be nothing anyone could do if the situation escalates in the Taiwan Strait Many people in Taiwan look upon China’s military exercises over the past week with calm resignation, doubting that war is imminent and if anything, feeling pride in their nation’s determination to defend itself. After a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has sent ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between Taiwan and China’s coast and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the nation since Thursday last week. However, Rosa Chang, proudly watching her son take part in Taiwanese military exercises that included dozens of howitzers firing shells into the Taiwan Strait off
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
ON THE ALERT: The daily caseload will rise, but it is not likely to reach the level of the previous peak of about 80,000 to 90,000, the deputy minister of health said Reporting nine new local cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that the BA.5 strain is gradually spreading in northern Taiwan and was expected to cause a wave of infections in one or two weeks. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), head of the CECC’s disease surveillance division, said 15,206 new local COVID-19 infections, 206 imported cases and 26 deaths were confirmed. The local caseload was the lowest in 100 days — since 15,033 cases were reported on April 30 — and the number of deaths was the lowest in