Taiwan Today: Hundreds of Taiwanese tourists stranded in Japan after quake

A security guard walks on an earthquake-damaged street in Kiyota, outskirts of Sapporo city, Hokkaido, northern Japan, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. A powerful earthquake hit wide areas on Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Thursday, triggering landslides as well as causing the loss of power. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Hundreds of Taiwanese tourists stranded in Japan after quake

More than 700 Taiwanese visitors are stranded in Japan because of flight delays in the wake of a powerful earthquake that struck the northern island of Hokkaido in the early hours of Thursday, according to Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau.

The bureau said 764 Taiwanese tourists in 25 tour groups will not be able to return to Taiwan on Thursday as planned due to disruptions caused by the magnitude 6.7 quake that struck 112 kilometers southeast of Sapporo at 3:08 a.m. Japan time. As of 11:00 a.m. (Taiwan time), there were no reports of Taiwanese tourists injured in the earthquake, the bureau said.

Taiwanese airlines cancel flights to Hokkaido due to quake

Taiwanese carriers announced Thursday that flights to Hokkaido will be canceled the following day as the airport remains closed following an earthquake that rocked the area triggering landslides and cutting power to millions.

China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Airways, canceled all flights to New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido Thursday and have announced there will be no flights Friday.

Tourism sector welcomes visa-free offer for Russians

Taiwan’s tourism sector on Thursday welcomed the government’s decision to allow visa-free entry for Russian visitors, saying it will help expand the horizons of the local industry.

“We believe that the measure will attract a larger number of Russian tourists to Taiwan,” said a Tourism Bureau official who asked not to be named.

The official said Russians make 30 million trips overseas per year but only a few to the Far East.

Taiwan announced Thursday visa-free entry for Russian nationals as part of its efforts to promote closer exchanges.

Asteroid named after Taiwanese philanthropic vendor

An asteroid discovered by Lulin Observatory in Nantou County, operated by Taiwan’s National Central University, has been named after Taiwanese philanthropic vendor Chen Shu-chu (陳樹菊), according to the Taitung County government.

The asteroid No. 278986, which was discovered by the observatory 10 years ago, has now been officially renamed “Chen Shu-chu,” while another asteroid No. 281561 has been named “Taitung,” the county government said.

Chen Shu-chu, 68, became a household name in Taiwan after her good deeds were brought to light by local and foreign media.

Taiwan targets ethnic Chinese students in ASEAN countries

On a hot summer day, more than 100 school principals from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries gathered in a conference room in downtown Taipei to attend the first ever ASEAN Chinese language school principals’ meeting held from Aug.

Organized by Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), the agency in charge of liaising with ethnic Chinese communities abroad, the three-day-event featured 108 school principals or top managers from seven ASEAN countries — Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia.