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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.
Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said the government has scrapped policies aimed at making Taiwan nuclear power free by 2025 following the results of the past weekend's referendum.
According to the Central Election Commission, the result showed that 59.5 percent of the nearly 10 million people who voted in the poll are against abolishing nuclear power.
The Cabinet spokeswoman said the government fully respects that result and will now work with relevant ministries to re-evaluate it's energy policies. However, she went on to say that the Tsai administration's plan for a non-nuclear homeland will remain the government's goal for the foreseeable future.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is undertaking what she's calling "a journey around Taiwan to listen to the public" following Saturday's local elections.
The islandwide tour comes amid calls for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to "engage in self-reflection" following its losses in the elections.
Writing on her Facebook page, Tsai said the tour of Taiwan will enable her to hear first hand the thoughts and concerns of people across the country.
Tsai's first stop was Kaohsiung. Speaking at a forum with DPP supporters there Tuesday, Tsai apologized for the party's poor performance, but went on to say she believes a period of self-reflection will help the DPP perform better in future elections.
Tsai stepped down as party chairwoman immediately following Saturday's elections and an acting DPP chair is expected to be selected during the party's central executive committee meeting later today.
President Tsai warned recently elected local officials that matters relating to cross-Strait policy remain under the authority of the central government.
The statement comes after the Kuomintang's (KMT) Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in Kaohsiung said he plans to set up a new working platform to promote bilateral trade with China once he takes office.
Tsai said it remains unclear how Han plans to do this, but reiterated that there are official government agencies responsible for cross-Strait policies.
However, she didn't elaborate further on what action, if any, her administration could take against Han or other KMT led local governments if they seek to open their own official channels with China.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said it plans to step-up talks with Japanese officials as the government seeks to allay concern in Tokyo following passage of a referendum to maintain the ban on the import of food products from five Japanese prefectures.
All five prefectures were affected by the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster.
Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the talks are aimed at preventing the issue from impacting ties with Japan.
According to Lee, the government remains committed to safe guarding public health and the issue of food products from the affected areas will continue to be handled based on "international standards and scientific evidence."
The referendum to maintain the ban was initiated by the KMT.
The topic is likely to be a key focus at this week's Taiwan-Japan economic and trade conference, which is taking in place in Taipei from today through Friday.
Lawmakers said the Taiwan Railway Administration's (TRA) failure to to implement a standard operating procedure regarding train operations and maintenance played a major role in last month's derailment of a Puyuma express in Yilan.
The statement comes after a report by a Cabinet task force found the train was allowed to operate despite the fact that two of its four air compressors were broken.
Lawmakers says the rail network's decision to allow the train to remain in service with faulty equipment was "unacceptable."
New Power Party (NPP) lawmaker Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said the report's findings show the entire system, from "administrative support to maintenance, is rotten."
He is now calling on authorities to find out who should be held responsible for the failure to fully oversee operations.
The October 21 derailment left 18 people dead and more than 200 others injured.
The military is launching a contest to come up with a new name for its advanced jet trainer aircraft, which is currently under development.
The Aerospace Industrial Development Corporations (AIDC) is scheduled to deliver 66 advanced trainer aircraft by 2026 to replace the Air Force's aging AT-3 trainers and F-5 fighters.
AIDC had previously named the new jets "Blue Magpie."
The Air Force Command's Planning Division is refusing to say why the military is dropping that name - with a spokesman saying only that the military wants to allow the public to participate in the naming process.
Only Republic of China (ROC) citizens are allowed to take part in the contest, and they must submit names consisting of two characters and the proposal must be accompanied by an explanation of no more than 100 words.
The winner of the contest will walk away with a cash prize of NT$50,000 (US$1,619).
Multi-media artist Cheang Shu-lea (鄭淑麗) will be representing Taiwan at the 58th Venice Arte Biennale.
According to the Taiwan Fine Arts Museum, Cheang will be the first woman to represent the Taiwan pavilion since the island began sending a single artist to the event in 2015.
Cheang said her artwork, titled "3x3x6," was inspired by the exhibition venue, Palazzo delle Prigioni, which was a Venetian government prison in the 16th century.
She said the work addresses the theme of crime and punishment and also highlights transgender issues.
The Taiwan pavilion at the Venice Arte Biennale will be curated by Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado.
The 58th Venice Arte Biennale will take place from May 11 to November 24 next year.
Taiwanese poet Lin Juei-ming (林瑞明) died Monday at his home. He was 68.
Lin was also known by the pen names of Lin Fan and Lin Ti-ying and he was born in Tainan in 1950.
He was a poet, author and critic, researcher in history and also served as the first director of the Taiwan literature museum from 2003 to 2005.
Lin retired from his job as a professor of history at National Cheng Kung University in 2015 due to kidney disease.
This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.
Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
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