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Agent from Japan office admits to security lapse

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's representative office in Japan yesterday admitted to a lapse in security after allowing Chinese nationals to enter the official residence of Taiwan's top envoy to Japan.

The office pledged that it will ask catering companies responsible for providing services to the office not to hire Chinese nationals as staff during banquets and parties held at the envoy's residence in the future.

The office made the comments in response to a local media report yesterday that said the residence of Taiwan's representative to Japan Shen Ssu-tsun (沈斯淳) was frequently visited by Chinese national waitstaff during dinner parties, which is in clear violation of a rule that stipulates that no mainland Chinese citizens are allowed to enter the residence of Taiwanese envoy for national security reasons.

According to the Chinese-language Liberty Times, a source close to the matter said that Taipei's office in Tokyo regularly holds banquets at Shen's residence to host Japanese politicians and Taiwanese expatriates.

However, the catering companies the office hired to offer services would often use Chinese nationals as chefs and waitstaff during these events.

These Chinese nationals could pose serious security concerns to the top envoy's residence, a source told the newspaper.

Asked to comment, the representative office yesterday told local media that there is an existing rule that prohibits Chinese nationals from entering the envoy's residence.

  The office also repeatedly told the catering companies it works with not to hire Chinese nationals for catering jobs when offering services to the office.

  But sometimes these companies will have to hire temporary staff to replace those on sick leave, creating a loophole in the security checks, it noted.

  The office will strongly advise these companies not to violate the rules in the future, it added.

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