Two Japanese nationals part of joint funeral ceremony at sea in New Taipei

06/28/2022 07:26 PM
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Photo courtesy of New Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs
Photo courtesy of New Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) New Taipei City Government hosted a joint funeral ceremony at sea Tuesday, with two Japanese among the 10 individuals who had their ashes scattered.

According to the city's Department of Civil Affairs, the ashes of 10 people, including the two Japanese nationals identified by their family names Takahashi and Sato, were scattered at sea about 6km from New Taipei's Bali District during the ceremony.

The Taiwanese wife of Takahashi, who died in his 70s, said half of her wishes had been fulfilled after bidding farewell to her husband at the ceremony, the department said in a statement.

Takahashi's widow said she had asked their children to scatter her own ashes at the same site after she dies, to keep a promise she made to her husband, the statement said.

For her part, Sato's wife, who is also Taiwanese, said she and her husband had long lived in Japan before he passed away in February.

"Sato was so fond of Taiwan and he said many times he wanted to 'visit every place around the country to appreciate the beauty of the island,'" his widow said.

After learning of New Taipei City Government's plan to hold a joint funeral ceremony at sea, she returned to Taiwan with her husband's ashes in May in order to scatter them at sea, Sato's wife said.

"I finally helped him realize his dream," she said.

Sato's wife (second right). Photo courtesy of New Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs

According to New Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs Director Ko Ching-chung (柯慶忠), ceremonies that involve the scattering of ashes at sea sponsored by the city authorities are free of charge and accessible to all families who lose a loved one regardless of their household registrations or nationality, as long as they submit a permit for cremation and related documents.

Since New Taipei was upgraded to a special municipality in December 2010, 12,384 people had received green burials sponsored by the municipal authorities as of the end of May, a big increase from the 1,666 processed when the area was designated Taipei County, Ko said.

A total of four deceased foreign nationals have so far had their ashes scattered at sea, the two Japanese citizens on Tuesday, as well a third Japanese national and a Singaporean, he noted.

(By Flor Wang and Huang Hsu-sheng)


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