The director-general of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Osaka Chii-Cherng Su (蘇啟誠), who was also an alumnus of Soochow University (Class of 1979), ended his life on September 14, 2018 in the age of 61. His death was allegedly the result of overwhelming pressure from the online criticism over the Office’s lack of action to help out Taiwanese tourists stranded in Osaka’s Kansai International Airport during Typhoon Jebi in August. His departure marked a great loss to Taiwan’s diplomacy as well as his alma mater.
In an interview back in 2003 by SCU, Su once talked with a slight Japanese accent and in a gentleman-like manner about his college years in Soochow as a Japanese major. Inspired by Professor Mao-Feng Tsai (蔡茂豐), Su had studied hard, received scholarships and relieved financial burden for his peasant parents. In his sophomore year, he was chosen as a seed tutor for Chinese among the exchange students to Japan, where he lived with Japanese students, sharpened his Japanese, and decided to engage in deeper study on Japanese. Later, Su was admitted to Osaka University with the scholarship offered by Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association and obtained a master’s degree in Japanese Studies.
After graduation, Su became a contracted employee of Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (former Association of East Asian) in Osaka Office before he entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by passing the tests of Special Examination for Diplomatic Personnel. He served as the secretary in Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan, the chief of Secretary Section in Taiwan-Japan Relations Association, and the head of Naha Branch, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan, and finally was appointed the director of Osaka Branch.
In his 30 years of service in Taiwan’s diplomacy, Su had been a professional diplomat with a strong sense of responsibility and dignity. Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊), former Minister of Foreign Affair, revealed that Su had never mentioned to him about their connection as distant relatives until Ou’s retirement. Su will truly be a role model for many despite his passing away. In addition to sending condolence to Su’s family at the moment, Soochow’s Alumni Association of Japanese Department and the Office of the Social Resource will prepare a memorial ceremony for Su’s wife and everyone who knew Su to commemorate him.
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