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Sunday, March 25, 2007

In the news ニュース

I came across a couple of Taiwan-related stories while checking the news online over breakfast this morning.

First up is an article from the Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ, "Abe's LDP backers seek Taiwan-India China foil" http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070325a5.html. A group of about 20 Liberal Democratic Party 自民党 lawmakers who see China as a threat are forming a parliamentary league to promote closer ties with Taiwan and Japan. This is being done to counter moves to form a similar grouping by pro-China factions within the LDP. The pro-Taiwan group's senior adviser will be Shoichi Nakagawa 中川昭一, chairman of the LDP's Policy Research Council 自民党政調会. Nakagawa has called China's military spending a "threat", and recently said that if Japan wasn't careful, it could wind up being a Chinese colony by 2020.

The other article is from the Daily Yomiuri (the English edition of 読売新聞), and is entitled "Taiwan squirrels raiding forests" http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20070325TDY02006.htm. It seems cute but feral Taiwanese squirrels リス have been damaging an increasing number of trees in southern Yokohama 横浜 this year, probably due to the wild winter this year (they are apparently eating trees instead of nuts, which are scarce in winter). Classified as an "invasive species" 侵入生物(しんにゅうせいぶつ), they have been reported to be living in Kanagawa 神奈川県, Shizuoka 静岡県, Gifu 岐阜県, Osaka 大阪府, Wakayama 和歌山県 and Nagasaki 長崎県 prefectures. While the article talks about some of the measures being taken in response to the squirrels, it doesn't say how they came to Japan from Taiwan in the first place. Here's a picture of one I found with a Google search:

http://www.art-energy.co.jp/yoshiro/artsyo.html

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