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Former Education Minister Wu Jin dies at 74

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Minister of Education Wu Jin, died of cancer of the ampulla of Vater Monday at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Hospital in Tainan City in southern Taiwan at the age of 74, according to a university spokesman.

Wu was admitted to hospital late last year after returning from a visit to China, the spokesman said.

He was diagnosed two years ago with cancer of the ampulla of vater and received treatment from NCKU Hospital before going to another hospital in America. However, Wu’s health began to deteriorate last month, until he finally passed away at 12:06 p.m.

The ampulla of Vater, where the pancreatic and common bile ducts merge, supplies secretions to the duodenum to help it break down food. Cancer of the ampullar of vater is considered rare.

A hospital worker commented that Wu passed away peacefully with his wife at his side.

The NCKU spokesman said Wu’s funeral will be held on Jan. 27 at the Tainan Funeral Parlor.

Wu, who held a doctoral degree in mechanics and hydraulics from University of Iowa, became an academician in the Academia Sinica in 1986. In June 1996, he was selected by then President Lee Teng-hui to serve as education minister.

Wu was renowned for his active stance on progress in educational practices, and was referred to as “a powerful force of change in educational reform.”

However, he stepped down from the post in February 1998 because of a difference of opinion on educational reform with Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh, who had convened the panel that launched a number of reforms in the late 1990s.

Hearing of Wu’s death, Lee lauded Wu’s life-time contribution to the upgrading of Taiwan’s educational and academic level.

Wu was the first president of NCKU, and was described by Lee and other colleagues and associates as an open-minded, easy going fellow who worked hard at his job, collaborating with institutions such as Harvard University to host a range of international symposiums.

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Former Education Minister Wu Jin dies at 74
Former Education Minister Wu Jin died of cancer of the ampulla of Vater Monday at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Hospital in Tainan at the age of 74. (CNA)

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