Taiwanese diplomat commits suicide in wake of criticism (update)

2018/09/14 17:22:02 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwanese diplomat commits suicide in wake of criticism (update)

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) The head of Taiwan's representative office in Osaka, Japan committed suicide early Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠), 61, who assumed the post in July, was found dead by hanging at his residence in Osaka, according to sources familiar with the matter. Before the new post, he served as director of the representative office in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has traveled to Osaka from Tokyo to deal with the aftermath of the incident. In a statement release by his office, Hsieh said he was shocked and saddened by Su's death.

Hsieh said the Osaka office had been under considerable pressure since its emergency aid operations at Kansai International Airport last week amid flooding came under criticism for paling by comparison with the efforts of the Chinese consulate in Osaka.

While China is reported to have deployed 15 tour buses to evacuate Chinese nationals from the airport after its closure on Sept. 4, Taiwan's office in Osaka was criticized for taking no similar action for Taiwanese travelers.

Saying staff at Taiwan's offices around Japan never stop working hard, the de facto ambassador to Japan asked the public to be fair and just in judging their performance.

Expressing its deep sorrow and condolences over his death, the foreign ministry said Su worked hard, was devoted to his duties and performed admirably during his career as a diplomat.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) instructed the ministry to do everything possible to assist Su's family, the Presidential Office said, while expressing sorrow and condolences over the diplomat's death.

The office urged all sectors of society to support Taiwan's diplomats who are on the frontline of efforts to serve the country and its interests overseas.

Su's death happened just a day before the heads of Taiwan's six offices in Japan are scheduled to meet in Osaka to review the behavior of officials stationed in the country following criticism of their handling of Taiwanese nationals' requests for assistance during the closure of Kansai International Airport last week.

Staff at the representative office in Osaka were blasted on social media for being reluctant to help Taiwanese in Osaka after flooding caused by Typhoon Jebi led to the aiport's closure on Sept. 4.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Elizabeth Hsu)
Enditem/AW


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