Focus Taiwan App

Police track down man who threw urine at Nikkei's Taipei Office

03/03/2023 11:23 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
The building that houses Nikkei
The building that houses Nikkei's Taipei office. Image: Google Maps

Taipei, March 3 (CNA) A man who threw urine at the doors of the Taipei office of Japanese newspaper the Nikkei on Friday is to be punished in accordance with Taiwan's laws, police have said.

Officers at the Songshan Precinct were called to the scene after receiving information that the media organization's office had been splashed with an unknown liquid, which was later confirmed to be urine.

The suspect, who was asked to exchange his ID for a visitor's pass, was later identified as a man surnamed Tien (田), who will be summoned for questioning, police said.

Tien will be punished for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act and could face defamation charges if Nikkei decides to file a lawsuit, they said.

The incident came just days after the Nikkei said in a Japanese-language report published on Feb. 28 that about 90 percent of retired Taiwanese military officers have visited China to leak intelligence about Taiwan's military to Chinese authorities in exchange for money.

According to the report, a former Taiwanese military officer using the pseudonym Cheng Tsung-hsien (鄭宗賢) said after he retired in the 2010s he received "special status" in China for providing intelligence about Taiwan's armed forces.

After Cheng ran out of intelligence to leak, however, the Chinese authorities started giving him trouble and forced his restaurant out of business, the Nikkei reported.

"Even so, I still admire China and don't have any regrets," the Nikkei quoted Cheng as saying.

The report also cited unnamed Taiwanese military personnel as saying that most of Taiwan's military officers are mainlanders, or "waishengren," a term that refers to people who came to Taiwan from China with the Kuomintang (KMT) government in 1949 after the KMT lost the Chinese Civil War, or their descendants.

If a military conflict with China were to break out, such a military would not be able to fight, the Nikkei cited the unnamed source as saying.

The report has sparked outrage across Taiwan's political spectrum.

A courier from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan on Wednesday morning delivered a letter to the Nikkei's head office in Tokyo, expressing regret over its failure to fact-check the report, which it said besmirched the reputation of Taiwan's military.

The office also asked the Nikkei to refrain from engaging in biased reporting.

In a social media post, Taiwan's Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said he trusted the Nikkei's editorial team to check the veracity of the report, while calling on people to refrain from irrational behavior such as sabotaging the newspaper's offices.

Meanwhile, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) was asked to comment on the news report during a question-and-answer session with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) on Friday.

Calling the report "unfounded," Chen said that he believed all Taiwanese, in particular military personnel, identify with their land regardless of their ethnicity or political affiliation.

"Rumors stop with the wise," Chen said, expressing confidence in the loyalty of Taiwan's armed forces.

In a social media post on Friday, the KMT slammed the news report as "egregious rumor mongering" that has dealt a blow to the morale of Taiwan's military.

A visibly annoyed Veterans Affairs Council Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬), an Air Force general, could not help but use expletives Thursday when asked by reporters at the Legislative Yuan to comment on the report, which he dismissed as "full of nonsense."

The Legislature's Foreign and National Defense Committee on Thursday passed a motion to find out if any of the military officers who retired within the past five years leaked any state or military secrets to China.

It asked the Defense Ministry, Mainland Affairs Council and the Justice Ministry to report their findings at the Legislature.

The motion was panned by the KMT as a lack of confidence in Taiwan's armed forces.

(By Liu Chein-pang, Wang Yang-yu, Liu Kuan-ting and Sean Lin)


> Chinese Version


March 7: Nikkei voices 'regret' on Taiwan veterans spy story

    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.