Taipei: Taiwan`s top envoy to Japan went for a vacation as the island country was reeling under the worst typhoon in half a century that left more than 500 people dead and damaged property worth billions of US dollars, local media reported on Saturday.
John Feng, Taiwan`s de facto ambassador to Japan, took off from August 15 to 20 for vacationing in Europe with his family, while victims of killer typhoon Morakot in Taiwan were awaiting international aid, the TV news channels of the island flashed citing Foreign Ministry officials.
According to United Daily News, Feng apologised for his absence in a statement released by Taipei`s representative office in Tokyo yesterday.
Feng took time off at a time when his country was facing the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot, which lashed the island on August 8-9. By the second day of typhoon, Morakot had triggered the worst flood in southern Taiwan in 50 years and the government appealed for international aid by August 14.
A five-person disaster relief team and emergency supplies from Japan arrived in Taiwan`s affected area on yesterday.
Asked for comment, a Foreign Ministry press officer on condition on anonymity confirmed that Feng was absent from his post last week, but declined to comment further.
The administration of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has come under severe criticism for a slow response to the storm`s aftermath, with key Cabinet officials reportedly out of reach or pursuing leisure activities amid the disaster. Ma said a Cabinet reshuffle is likely in the coming weeks.