Taiwan News: Japan Representative Hangs on After Colleague's Fake News Suicide

Taiwan News: Japan Representative Hangs on After Colleague's Fake News Suicide
Photo Credit: 中央社

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said Wednesday that he will remain head of Taiwan's representative office in Japan despite calls for him to step down to take responsibility for the suicide of the head of the Osaka office.

Speaking in Tokyo, Hsieh said he will not consider stepping down for the time being as he has a lot of work to do, including putting the record straight regarding the death of Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠).

According to Hsieh, Su committed suicide due to the criticism he received for his perceived failure to assist Taiwan nationals after Kansai International Airport was closed due to flooding caused by Typhoon Jebi.

Hsieh said the criticism stemmed from "fake" news reports originating in China that claimed Beijing had sent tour buses to evacuate Chinese nationals from the airport, while netizens had also claimed that staff at the Osaka office were reluctant to assist Taiwan nationals.

Hsieh said he accepts criticism of both himself and the Osaka office and that more could have been done to help Taiwanese stranded at the airport.

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that her administration is taking the initiative to collaborate with other countries to establish or strengthen cross-border security networks.

Speaking at an international police cooperation forum in Taipei, Tsai said cracking down on fraud has become increasingly difficult because of constantly evolving fraud strategies and the dispersal of criminal rings in many countries.

However, she said her government has made fighting fraud a high priority and is making efforts to improve fraud fighting networks and strengthen international cooperation.

Tsai said she is is seeking to sign more agreements on judicial mutual assistance, money laundering prevention, human trafficking and police cooperation with other countries.

This year's forum brought together experts from the government, academia and the private sectors from 40 countries.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Believers prepare for the Palm Sunday procession held by the government-sanctioned Catholic church in Youtong village, Hebei province, China, March 25, 2018.

A magazine published by the Jesuits of the United States is citing "informed sources" as saying diplomatic ties will not be addressed in an agreement set to be signed between the Vatican and China

The publication is quoting sources as saying the question of the Holy See's relations with Taiwan "was not raised in the present negotiations with Beijing."

According to the report, the agreement only deals with the nomination of bishops and gives each side a say in the selection of candidates, but it does give the Pope final say in the appointment of bishops throughout China.

However, the reports also said that both China and the Holy See consider it "a provisional agreement," which can be revisited in a few years.

A high-level Vatican delegation is expected to travel to Beijing for the signing of the agreement before the end of this month.

Taiwan's Ambassador to the Holy See said earlier this week that the deal will not cover political or diplomatic issues.

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The New Taipei District Court has ordered an Israeli-American national suspected of involvement in the murder of a Canadian man in New Taipei to be held incommunicado.

The court ruled that Oren Shlomo Mayer was a flight risk and could conspire with others to cover up his alleged role in the crime.

Mayer fled to the Philippines following the murder and dismemberment of Ryan Ramgahan, but was arrested there on Sept. 5.

He was sent back to Taiwan on Monday.

Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent are accused of being involved in what police say was the drug-related murder of Ramgahan, whose dismembered body was found under Zhongzheng Bridge on Aug. 22.

Bent was arrested in Taipei on Aug. 24.

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以核養綠公投補件遭拒黃士修絕食 馬英九聲援
Photo Credit: 中央社
Former President Ma Ying-jeou (C) talks to reporters with nuclear referendum organizer and hunger striker Huang Shih-hsiu (R).

The organizer of a referendum proposal backing nuclear power is vowing to continue his hunger strike, despite having been hospitalized.

Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), founder of the Nuclear Mythbusters group, had been on hunger strike for 140 hours in protest over a decision by the Central Election Commission to reject a batch of 24,000 signatures in support of the referendum on whether to reverse the government's decision to phase out nuclear power by 2025.

But he was hospitalized Wednesday after doctors monitoring his condition said his heart rate and blood pressure started spiking.

Huang's group presented 310,000 signatures in support of their referendum proposal earlier this month, but the commission rejected 20,000 of those signatures. However, there is still a chance the proposal could be approved as it still has more than the 282,000 signatures required by law to pass to the final stage.

The “Go nuclear to go green” pro-nuclear-power referendum bid has the support of former Kuomintang (KMT) President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

However, it is unclear how any government might resolve the parlous state of Taiwan's nuclear industry, which is set to decommission three of its plants in the next few years and is already in the process of removing nuclear fuel rods from an unfinished fourth facility, the Longmen Nuclear Power Plant.

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
Former President Chen Shui-bian will serve as a 'supreme adviser' to Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao.

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao has said former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will serve as the "supreme adviser" for his election campaign.

According to Yao, he has also asked Chen to serve as an adviser with his administration, if he wins the Nov. 24 election.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with Chen at his home in Kaohsiung, Yao said he asked the former president to advise his campaign team because he himself beat strong candidates in the 1994 Taipei mayoral election.

Yao's decision to include Chen in his campaign has been slammed by the KMT's Taipei mayoral candidate, Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who said the former president's accepting of the role violates the conditions of his medical parole.

Chen, who was in office from 2000 to 2008, has served more than six years of a 20-year sentence for several convictions on corruption charges, and has received several extensions of medical parole due to an ongoing need for psychological and physical treatment.

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An agreement abolishing the requirement of re-verification of public documents between Taiwan and Nicaragua has been signed in order to simplify document legalization procedures and promote bilateral exchanges.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the agreement was signed by Taiwan's ambassador to Nicaragua, Jaime Wu (吳進木), and Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Denis Moncada.

However, implementation will not take place until both countries have completed their required internal procedures.

The agreement follows on from a similar one between Taiwan and Paraguay, which took effect earlier this month.

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The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has said it has been providing emergency aid to flood victims in Cambodia, distributing food to nearly 3,000 households.

According to the foundation, Tzu Chi volunteers visited flood victims on several occasions in July and August in the wake of flooding along the Mekong River.

The flooding occurred after a dam failed in Laos and heavy rain brought by the earlier-than-expected seasonal monsoon.

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The winners of the 2018 Tang Prize have been welcomed at a cocktail party held at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.

Speaking at the reception, Tang Prize Founder Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) said he founded the award to reward outstanding contributions and to bring about positive change in the global community and create a brighter future for humanity.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) also attended the event and said the Tang Prize has become established internationally and can contribute to society, and he will do all he can to support activities related to the prize.

It was the first gathering of the 2018 awardees since they were named in June.

The event marks the start of Tang Prize Week, which will run until Sept. 28 with a series of forums and speeches highlighting the winners achievements.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei tomorrow evening.

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A research team at National Taiwan University has found a way to prevent the hair loss caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy suffered by cancer patients.

But the remedy is not expected to be commercialized for several years.

The team is headed by Lin Sung-jan (林頌然), a professor of biomedical engineering, who said researchers made the breakthrough while conducting stem cell research using fluorescent gene targeting.

According to Lin, the team is currently in negotiations with foreign companies to carry out human trials and the remedy "is expected to be able to be commercialized in 10 years at the earliest."


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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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