外國旅客在台失蹤怎麼辦?菲籍遊客曝殘忍事實|Where is Takahiro? Taiwan, Japan authorities say ‘they can’t help.’ Why?

Have you seen this man? Martin (right) is desperately looking for his friend, Takahiro (left) who allegedly disappeared last Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Martin)


Many people see Taiwan as a relatively safe country for traveling alone; however, if you’re traveling by yourself, you should think twice before heading out without telling your family and friends where you’re going.

今 (22)日一位日本旅客在台灣失蹤的事件,揭露出台灣官方因種種原因沒有辦法主動追蹤任何有可能「失蹤」的旅客,成為點醒外國旅客應正視此問題的最佳例子。

That’s the lesson foreigners should learn from the sudden disappearance of a Japanese tourist as Taiwanese and Japanese officials say that they have limited power to locate any “missing” foreigners on tourist visas.

在與The China Post的獨家訪談中,來自菲律賓的馬丁表示近日他與持有旅遊簽、在台待了6個月的、40歲的日本好友淵上隆弘(Takahiro Fuchigami)突然失聯。

In an exclusive interview with The China Post, Martin from the Philippines said he has been unable to contact his pal, Takahiro Fuchigami, a 40-year-old Japanese who has been living in Taiwan for the past six months on a tourist visa.


Takahiro has been missing for over a week now and his friends are so worried about him.

Fuchigami (left photo: top left/right photo: right) Photo courtesy of Martin


Takahiro reportedly told Martin and his host family that he was going to Taipei’s Gongguan area to check out a few classes on Aug. 13 and hasn’t been seen or heard from ever since.


Martin asked around on foreign community Facebook groups but no one has seen Takahiro.


Alarmed by his sudden disappearance, Martin and Yvonne Chen, a member of Fuchigami’s host family, tried to seek help from Taiwanese authorities, but to no avail.

他們告訴The China Post, 在向當地警察、移民署甚至日本台灣交流協會報案後,各單位都表示沒辦法幫上忙。

To their surprise, after reporting their concerns to local police, officials from Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA), and even the Taipei Office, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, said they can’t help locate Takahiro.


The main issue is: they are not family members.

Fuchigami (front right) with friends. (Photo courtesy of Martin)

陳燕樺向The China Post解釋當隆弘隔了三天都沒回家後,她決定前往住家附近的汐止分局尋求警方協助。

The China Post reached out to Yvonne Chen who said that when Takahiro still hadn’t returned three days later, she went to the Xizhi Police Station near her house to ask for help.


However, there was nothing they could do as the man was a foreigner and they have no access to his personal information.


Even more worrisome, she couldn’t issue a “missing person” alarm because she isn’t a family member.


The only thing they could do was share his picture on the police chat group and ask other officers to look out for the man during their rounds, Chen added.


Chen said she also received the same answer from the Zhongshan Police Department after asking around Gongguan about Fuchigami’s whereabouts.

Fuchigami (front left)with friends. (Photo courtesy of Martin)


Later, Chen also called the NIA and was referred to the Taipei City and Taipei New City’s Specialized Operation Brigades.


According to Chen, the NIA told her that the most they could do was mark Fuchigami’s name in the system so that if he were to be taken to a hospital and his ID was scanned, an alert would pop up notifying medical personnel that people were looking for the man.


However, the catch was, a family member would need to authorize this action in order to mark Fuchigami’s name in the system.

移民署向The China Post表示,「有關外來人口在臺行方不明,經其在臺親友或關係人報案協尋時,本署各專勤隊受理並了解案情後,會於本署系統註記協尋,俾本署各單位或其他機關查獲疑似協尋對象時得以通知報案人。」

When contacted by The China Post, the NIA said that should they receive reports from relatives in Taiwan or related parties (關係人), they would make a note in the system and alert them when authorities have further details about the case.


Chen eventually went to the Taipei Office, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and was told that they don’t handle “missing persons” reports. If they need help locating someone, they would need a letter of authorization as personal information would need to be accessed.


As of press time, Takahiro is still out somewhere, and with no way of contacting his relatives in Japan, all his friends in Taiwan can do is wait and hope for the best.


Please share this report and contact local police if you have any information regarding Takahiro’s disappearance.