Japan leading fruit importer
Japan has overtaken China to become the largest importer of fruit from Taiwan this year after a Japan-based trading company pledged to purchase 5,100 tonnes of fruit from the nation, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. Wismettac Foods Inc president Hiroshi Tsujikawa signed an agreement with the COA in Tokyo to purchase a minimum of 3,500 tonnes of pineapples, 1,500 tonnes of bananas and 100 tonnes of frozen pineapples per year. Japan bought about 56.6 percent of Taiwan’s fruit exports from January to October this year, supplanting China in Taiwan’s fruit sales, COA Deputy Minister Chen Tien-shou (陳添壽) said, adding that Japan bought 28.9 percent of Taiwan’s food exports last year.
Wet weather set to linger
Cool and wet weather is likely to persist today in northern parts of Taiwan due to seasonal northeasterly winds, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The lowest temperature recorded yesterday in low-lying areas was 15.2°C in Keelung’s Cidu District (七堵) at 7:30am, bureau data showed. Localized showers are expected today in the north and east alongside a slight temperature rise, as the weather in northern Taiwan remains cool and wet, National Central University weather forecaster Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said. Tomorrow, cloudy and sunny skies should prevail throughout Taiwan, with temperatures rebounding significantly, he said. However, another wave of northeasterly winds is forecast for Sunday, bringing occasional showers to northern coastal areas and northeastern Taiwan and pushing the temperatures lower, he added.
Employers to pay insurance
About 150,000 live-in migrant caregivers in Taiwan must be covered by their employers for quarterly work-related injury insurance premiums, the Ministry of Labor said as it prepares to send out the latest premium payment notifications. Under the Labor Occupational Hazard Insurance and Protection Act (勞工職業災害保險及保護法), which took effect on May 1, migrant caregivers must be covered by occupational accident insurance against work-related injuries, and the premium must be paid in full by their employers. The premium for live-in caregivers’ insurance has been calculated on a minimum monthly wage of NT$25,250 under the act, which overrides their actual minimum wage of NT$20,000 under the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), the ministry said. As a result, the quarterly insurance premium for live-in migrant caregivers is about NT$135, ministry officials said.
Renovated zoo to reopen
Kaohsiung’s Shoushan Zoo is scheduled to reopen on Dec. 16 after the completion of a one-year reconstruction project, featuring greater accessibility for visitors and more facilities for families, the Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau said on Wednesday. The zoo, which broke ground on its NT$550 million (US$17.95 million) reconstruction project in August last year, is to feature a 440m-long elevated walkway that connects several animal enclosures, the department said. The skywalk joins four observation corridors from where visitors can view animals up close without disturbing them, and two themed observation points that provide access to capybara and black bears, it said. Improvements have also been made to provide the animals with cleaner and better ventilated living environments, it added.
SELF-RELIANCE: Taiwan would struggle to receive aid in the event of an invasion, so it must prepare to ‘hold its own’ for the first 70 days of a war, a defense expert said Taiwan should strengthen infrastructure, stock up on reserves and step up efforts to encourage Taiwanese to fight against an enemy, legislators and experts said on Tuesday last week. The comments sought to summarize what the nation should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exceeded 300 days, since Feb. 24 last year. Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said that the war in Ukraine highlighted the importance of being ready for war. Taiwan’s development of an “asymmetrical warfare” doctrine and extending mandatory conscription to one year is a good start to preparation of defense against a
The Tourism Bureau plans to offer incentives to attract international tourists as the nation plans to gradually lift all travel restrictions to contain COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The incentives would be funded by surplus national tax revenue from last year, Wang said. The funding could be appropriated after the legislature passes draft special statutes governing the use of the surplus tax revenue in the upcoming legislative session, he said. Of the NT$450 billion (US$14.97 billion) in surplus tax revenue, the government plans to spend NT$100 billion on seven categories of projects to bolster Taiwan’s
The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday said it would delay the lifting of the indoor mask mandate, citing public health considerations and ongoing discussions on how the policy should be implemented. Earlier this week, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman, said officials from several ministries were working on the policy and an announcement would be made yesterday. However, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, yesterday said that the policy was still under review. Wang said its implementation would be “delayed slightly” due to three main factors. First, the center
Retired US admiral Philip Davidson, who in 2021 warned of a potential Chinese conflict with Taiwan by 2027, is in Taiwan to discuss regional security-related issues. He was the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command at the time. Davidson is part of a six-member delegation from US-based think tank the National Bureau of Asian Research that arrived in Taiwan on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The group is scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), and visit two government-funded non-governmental organizations — the Institute for National Defense and Security Research and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy — to exchange