Taiwan News: Pro-China Unification Group Paint Bombs Japan's De Facto Embassy

Taiwan News: Pro-China Unification Group Paint Bombs Japan's De Facto Embassy
Credit: Reuters / TPG
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Police in Taipei say members of a pro-China unification party are responsible for covering the entrance to the building which houses Japan's de facto embassy in Taipei with paint.

The entrance to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association was splashed with paint on Monday evening.

Law enforcement officials said a report was filed with the Songshan precinct accusing four Unionist Party supporters of splashing paint all over the building's entrance, foyer and glass panels.

The four suspects have been detained and are being questioned.

The incident occurred after Kuomintang lawmakers and members of a comfort women activist group rallied outside the building.

They delivered a petition to the de facto embassy protesting the actions of a Japanese national who was seen kicking a statue of comfort women that was erected in Tainan earlier this month.

That man has since been identified as a representative of the Japanese civic group the Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women.

The Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association was last smeared in paint in March, when pro-China unification protestors took the opportunity to pour red paint over a plaque outside the building as a means of protesting a clash between Japanese and Taiwanese fishing boats.

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The Central Weather Bureau said Monday that Typhoon Mangkhut will be closest to Taiwan this weekend and is expected to bring heavy rains to parts of the island.

Mangkhut is currently located some 2,500 kilometers east-southeast of Eluanbi at the island's southern most tip, and is moving in a westerly direction at 23 kilometers per hour.

The storm is packing sustained wind speeds of 162 kilometers an hour, with gusts of up to 198 kilometers an hour.

Mangkhut could continue to strengthen as it moves into the Bashi Channel towards the Pratas Islands later this week and it is likely to bring heavy rains to Hualien, Taitung and the Hengchun Peninsula.

The storm is currently not forecast to make landfall in Taiwan.

However, forecasters say it could veer in a more northerly direction in the coming days and they will have a better idea of its path by Thursday.

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StarLux Airlines Chairman Chang Kuo-wei's (張國煒) said his new company, a startup that aims to provide high-end travelers with an elite flying experience in the Asia-Pacific region, will create 60,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

The statement comes as construction of StarLux's flight operations center is now underway in Taoyuan.

According to Chang, who is a former chairman of EVA Airways Corp., the facility will accommodate the 8,000 staff he plans to recruit in the coming decade, and over 50,000 more job opportunities will be created in related industries.

The complex, which Chang said will provide a base for pilots, flight attendants, ground staff and technicians, is expected to be completed by July 2020.

StarLux is headquartered in Taipei and has a staff of 150.

Chang announced the new airline in May when he said StarLux will first fly from Taipei to Southeast and Northeast Asian destinations before moving to other destinations in Asia and North America by 2024.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
The logo of StarLux Airlines is printed on a backdrop at a news conference launching the company in Taipei on May 8, 2018.

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The Council of Agriculture (CoA) has said people caught trying to bring pork products into Taiwan from China face both fines and possible criminal charges.

The moves come amid ongoing concern about African swine fever spreading to Taiwan.

The highly contagious and deadly virus has been spreading rapidly across China after Beijing reported its first outbreak on Aug. 3.

The CoA has strengthening quarantine controls at the island's borders and is also implementing cross-department cooperation to prevent the virus from entering the country.

However, customs officials are still seizing items from passenger's luggage while other people have tried to send Chinese pork products to Taiwan via parcel services.

Of the 62 items seized since last month, 51 were sent to be tested for the swine virus.

And officials said 22 of the returned samples have so far tested negative.

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China Airlines and EVA Airways have said flights to Osaka will remain suspended until at least Sept. 13.

The two carriers had planned to resume services to Osaka today, when Kansai International Airport was expected to reopen.

However, the airlines say the airport is still closed due to damage caused by Typhoon Jebi and recovery efforts are underway.

The 700 Taiwanese tourists stranded in northern Japan after the typhoon struck on Sept. 4 have now all come returned home.

RTS202SY
Credit: Kyodo / Reuters / TPG
A bridge connecting Kansai airport, damaged by being struck by a 2,591-tonne tanker sent off course in strong winds during Typhoon Jebi, is seen in Izumisano, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo Sept. 5, 2018.

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Professors and alumni of the National Taiwan University (NTU) are calling on acting-president Kuo Tei-wei (郭大維) to step down for refusing to hold fresh elections.

The group said Kuo violated the Public Functionary Service Act and the University Act after he ignored a request by the Ministry of Education to hold a new presidential election.

According to the university professors and alumni, Kuo has also filed for an administrative appeal against the education ministry's decision to reject Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔)'s appointment as NTU president.

That decision comes despite charges of conflict of interest against Kuan.

The group is also urging the Ministry of Education to remove Kuo if he refuses to step down.

Read More: TAIWAN: Does NTU's Academic Autonomy Rally Reflect Democracy’s Failure?

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is warning people heading to the Middle East to remain vigilant to the threat of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The CDC's travel advisory for Saudi Arabia remains at level 2, meaning travelers should be on alert and take precautions against the deadly infectious disease.

A level 1 warning, which advises travelers to be cautious, remains in place for Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

South Korea reported an imported case of the respiratory syndrome this past weekend.

It was the first time since July 2015 that a case of MERS had been reported in South Korea.

MERS is an upper respiratory viral illness caused by camel flu.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday that Taiwan and Luxembourg have signed an agreement paving the way for a reciprocal working holiday program between the two countries.

The agreement was signed late last month.

Foreign office staff said it means that Taiwan and Luxembourg will each allow an annual quota of 40 citizens aged between 18 and 30 years of age to travel and work in each other's country for up to one year.

The ministry said it expects the deal to bolster advance bilateral tourism, cultural and youth exchanges.

Luxembourg is the 11th European country and the 16th country worldwide to have inked a working holiday deals with Taiwan.

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Taipei is among five cities that have been climbing the rankings of the world's most livable cities in the annual listings compiled annually by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The other four cities are Honolulu, Budapest, Kuwait City and Auckland.

These "most livable cities" are ranked every year by the EIU.

It ranks each one according to more than 30 factors that influence livability, including safety, access to healthcare, quality of food and drink options, access to education, and quality of roads and transportation.

Taipei ranked 58th in the 2018 Global Liveability Ranking, up two places from last year.

The report attributes Taipei's position in the rankings to the city's continuing investments in infrastructure and healthcare.

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The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said Taipei and Washington have signed an agreement renewing Taiwan's participation in an international science and education program.

According to AIT, the program is aimed at cultivating environmental stewardship, fostering intercultural understanding and facilitating scientific exchanges.

The agreement to participate in the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program for another five years was signed Aug. 14 by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S, and AIT.

The program, which was launched by the U.S, in 1994, provides students and the public around the world with the opportunity to participate in data collection and scientific processes, allowing them to contribute to the understanding of Earth and the global environment.

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Taiwan finished runners up in the 2018 Asian Under-18 Baseball Championship after losing 5-7 to South Korea in the finals Monday evening.

The teams were tied at 3-a-piece after nine innings.

South Korea made four runs in the 10th inning, but Taiwan only managed to reply with two of it own.

Taiwan beat Indonesia 29-0, China 1-0 and Japan 3-1 to get to the final.

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) said Monday that it saw very little impact from a computer virus attack in early August.

Reporting that August sales rose 22 percent from July, TSMC posted NT$91 billion (US$2.95 billion) in consolidated sales – the second-highest print this year.

TSMC's consolidated sales in the first eight months totaled NT$646.7 billion, up 5.8 percent from a year earlier.

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The average regular wage here in Taiwan rose 2.65 percent in July, marking the eighth consecutive month of over 2 percent year-on-year growth.

According to the government, average regular wages hit NT$40,933 in July from NT$39,878 a year earlier.

That followed a 2.46 percent year-on-year increase in June.

The regular wage growth was the highest ever for July in nearly 19 years.

Read Next: CONFESSION: How I Became Complicit in Overworking Taiwan's Bus Drivers

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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