Atsuko Maeda, the former leader of the uber-popular J-pop idol group AKB48, made her first trip to Taiwan over the weekend only to be greeted by numerous fans as she attended the premiere of her debut movie, Kuroyuri Danchi. While 21 year old Maeda "graduated" from the girl group in August of last year, a crowd of over 1,000 AKB48 fans were waiting at the Taipei airport to see her step off the plane.
Controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike's new film Shield of Straw makes it debut at the Cannes Film Festival and is set to spar with the other prestigious films in the competition. The film is another ultra-violent romp about five police officers trying to protect the life of a child-killer with a bounty on his head.
As the bilateral agreement between Japan and Taiwan regarding shared fishing grounds took effect last Friday, representatives of Okinawa prefecture’s fishing industry – Japan’s southernmost prefecture and the one most affected by the agreement – and Taiwanese fishermen met in the prefectural capital of Naha on Thursday to begin discussions on how to prevent trouble. The meeting came at the request of the Taiwanese side after the bilateral fishing deal took effect, to be able to draft rules that would govern the nation's operations in Japan's exclusive economic zone around the prefecture, including the waters around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain also claimed by Taiwan and China.
A Taiwanese fishing boat was detained by Japanese authorities as it was caught trespassing in Japanese waters near Ishagaki Island on Tuesday. The captain of the 48.25-ton "Cheng Chang Fa No. 2" was also placed under arrest, according to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA).
Tokyo Metropolitan Police announced on Tuesday that they have in custody a member of the Sumiyoshi-kai organized crime group who will be charged for smuggling stimulant drugs into Japan from Taiwan. Keisuke Yamauchi, 63, and his 53-year-old wife, Hiroko, including six other suspects were taken into custody by the Tokyo police for smuggling 987 grams of drugs from Taipei City’s Songshan Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on February 10 early this year.
Lee Chia-Chin, an advisor to Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou, has been appointed as the head of the Taiwan liaison office in Japan. If his appointment is officially confirmed by the office, he will become the youngest head in the office's history at 56 years old. He will replace current chief Liao Liou-yi, who had to resign to take care of his elderly mother.
We've heard it said that "laughter is the best medicine". For Taiwanese Terry Chung, he believes that the "power of smiles" can help victims of Japan's Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 as they try to recover from the triple disaster that hit them. He thinks that by collecting enough smiles, he can put one on each of the victims as well.
President Ma Ying-jeou commended the strengthening of relations between Taiwan and Japan in his remarks made on Wednesday May 1, and vowed that his nation would continue to expand on bilateral agreements and cooperation moving forward. In a speech made while receiving a Japanese delegation of parliamentarians, the Taiwanese leader stamped his approval on the ties between the two neighboring nations, a statement that may irk Chinese sensibilities and further strain relations between them and Japan. China has traditionally considered Taiwan a renegade province and continues to stand on its declared rights to take back the territory by force.
Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima expressed his anger over the bilateral fishing treaty that Japan has signed with Taiwan. The treaty refers to allowing Taiwanese fishermen to enter Japanese national waters within Okinawa prefecture’s fishing waters, and Nakaima has strongly requested that the treaty be reviewed as it could hurt the prefecture’s economy.
Taiwan has reported its first case of an H7N9 bird flu infection, the first outside of mainland China. Japan renewed calls for people and local governments to be on high alert, as Chinese tourists are expected to flock to the country during next week's Golden Week holiday.